Ted CruzTed CruzThe Memo: Trump faces enormous test with healthcare bill Brooks’s prior attacks on Trump could hurt in Alabama Senate race Three more GOP senators announce opposition to healthcare bill MORE apologized directly to Ben Carson during Saturday night's GOP presidential debate for his campaign suggesting ahead of the Iowa caucuses that Carson was dropping out of the race.

"Ben is a good and honorable man, and Ben and Candy have become friends. He has an amazing life story that has inspired millions, including me," Cruz said of Carson and his wife.

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"When this transpired, I apologized to him then, and I do now. Ben, I am sorry."

Cruz finished first at the Iowa caucuses, ahead of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. Carson came in fourth place, but Trump and other critics questioned whether Cruz's campaign staffers spreading the false information could have boosted his score.

Cruz went on to explain that CNN had reported that Carson would take a break from campaigning after the caucuses on Monday night, and anchors noted that a break at that pivotal time is unlikely.

"My political team saw CNN's report breaking news and they forwarded that report to our volunteers," Cruz said.

He added that he didn't know that the team had sent the news and that he regrets that his campaign did not send out the clarification from CNN, which he claims did not come until later that night.

Carson countered by noting that CNN corrected its report on Twitter just a minute later and questioned why it took so long for the Cruz team to correct its report.

"We can see what happened, everybody can see what happened and you can make your own judgment," Carson said.

When Carson was asked initially about the situation, before Cruz's apology, he evoked the accidental death of a campaign staffer in a car crash to show his commitment.

"I was very disappointed that members of his team thought so little of me that they thought that after having hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers and college students who sacrificed their time and were dedicated to the cause, one even died, to think that I would just walk away ten minutes before the caucus and say, 'Forget abotu you guys.' Who would do something like that?" Carson said.