Last night after the debate, CNN continued their embarrassing butt-covering campaign regarding the Carsongate fiasco. The essential issue in this story is that the people who are attacking Ted Cruz on this (including Ben Carson) are intentionally conflating a series of tweets that were sent by CNN reporter Chris Moody, and what was said on air by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash while the caucuses were ongoing.

The people who are using Ben Carson, and CNN themselves, like to focus on the Chris Moody tweets, because it’s true that right after Moody tweeted that Carson was going home to Florida, he clarified that Carson was not suspending his campaign. However, when Cruz has explained what happened and why, he has referred to the on air reporting from Tapper and Bash, and not the tweet from Moody. Let’s look at what Cruz said, specifically, during the course of last night’s debate:

If you look at what Cruz said about CNN’s reporting, the following facts stick out:

  • He makes clear he is referring to Tapper and Bash’s on-air report.
  • He claims that they said that Carson was not continuing to New Hampshire after the caucuses, but rather was taking a break and going home to Florida.
  • He claims that Tapper and Bash noted that this was “highly significant” and “highly unusual.”
  • He claims that CNN did not report on air any clarification on this story until later in the night.
  • At the time that his staff was sending out an erroneous message to precinct captains, he was preparing to speak at a caucus (in fact, he was shown on CNN in Cedar Rapids doing exactly this) and had no knowledge that this was going on, and when he found out, he called Carson immediately to apologize.
  • At no point does he claim that Tapper and Bash said that Carson was suspending his campaign.
  • At no point does he reference any tweets by Chris Moody or anyone else.

Now, this is an absolutely, completely, 100% accurate summary of what was said on air by Tapper and Bash, as this clip very clearly demonstrates:

After the debate last night, CNN went completely unhinged on Ted Cruz, accusing him of saying things at the debate that he absolutely did not say. They flat out called him a liar by putting words in his mouth and claiming that he was referring to the Moody tweets, which he was not. This embarrassing exercise in butt covering was clearly pre-prepared because they expected Cruz to say something that he did not end up saying.

Both this segment and the statement by CNN are an absolute joke. They are flat out lies. At no point during this debate did Ted Cruz reference the Moody tweets at all. At no point during the debate did he claim that CNN said Carson was suspending his campaign. He referred solely to the on air segment by Tapper and Bash, and characterized it completely accurately.