DES MOINES, Iowa – Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Sen. Ted Cruz of stealing the Iowa caucuses, calling for either a new set of caucuses in Iowa or the results to be nullified.
“Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified,” Donald Trump wrote a Twitter, one of a series of Tweets attacking Cruz and questioning the outcome of the Iowa caucuses.
Cruz, the conservative senator from Texas, defeated Trump in Iowa Monday night.
“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” Trump tweeted. “That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated.”
Cruz’s campaign dismissed Trump’s claims on Twitter with humor.
“Reality hit the realty TV star in Iowa, so nobody is talking about him now, so he’s trying to regain some attention on Twitter,” Cruz communications director Rick Tyler told CNN. “There are Twitter addiction support groups, so he should seek out his local chapter. ”
Cruz himself teased Trump on Twitter early Wednesday afternoon, suggesting his rival become a Democrat and linking to one of his anti-Trump ads.
“Bernie is contesting #IA results. Maybe Donald should go back to IA & join the Ds. Bet they’d love #TrumpCare,” Cruz tweeted.
Cruz then added, “Yet another #Trumpertantrum… @realDonaldTrump very angry w/the people of Iowa. They actually looked at his record.”
Trump initially tweeted that Cruz “illegally stole” the Iowa caucuses, before deleting the tweet and tweeting again without the word “illegally.”
Minutes later, Trump tweeted that “during primetime of the Iowa Caucus, Cruz put out a release that @RealBenCarson was quitting the race, and to caucus (or vote) for Cruz.”
“Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because of this Cruz fraud,” Trump said of the Cruz campaign’s caucus day actions.
CNN reported Monday that Carson would go to Florida instead of New Hampshire or South Carolina immediately after the caucuses to take a “deep breath” and get clean clothes. The Cruz campaign informed Iowa precinct captains while the caucuses were underway that Carson was taking a break and suggested that he was suspending his campaign. CNN did not report that Carson was suspending his campaign — instead, CNN said he would return to the campaign trail. Cruz apologized to Carson on Tuesday.
Early Wednesday afternoon, the Carson campaign sent out a fundraising email accusing CNN of spreading “false or misleading information” with the report.
“They led people to believe I was leaving the race,” Carson wrote. “It was yet another example of creating rather than reporting the news, and it’s wrong.”
Trump also slammed Cruz for sending out deceitful mailers that shared voter’s caucus attendance records with their neighbors and warning voters of “VOTER VIOLATION.”
“The Voter Violation certificate gave poor marks to the unsuspecting voter (grade of F) and told them to clear it up by voting for Cruz,” Trump tweeted. “Fraud.”
Carson on Tuesday called for the firing of a Cruz campaign official over the incident.
Polls in the week leading up to the caucuses showed Trump several points ahead of Cruz, which raised expectations for Trump’s campaign in the Hawkeye State. But come caucus day, Cruz was declared the victor after winning 4 percentage points more support than the billionaire real estate mogul.