By Ben Kamisar
The Des Moines Register is accusing White House contender Ted CruzTed CruzTeam Clinton: Sanders will help campaign take on 'rigged system' Clinton brings in the heavy hitters Juan Williams: Dems must not be complacent against Trump MORE of carrying out a "campaign of deceit," calling his actions troubling for Iowa Republican voters.
The state's paper of record charged the Cruz campaign with peddling "pure, unadulterated fiction" when it sent voting mailers that appeared to be from the government.
The mailers told voters they had received a "voting violation" because of poor caucus participation in the past and for sharing information about other voters.
"In essence, the mailer was a complete lie, from start to finish."
Cruz won the Monday caucuses by a margin of 3 percent, ahead of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.
Trump has bashed Cruz's conduct, calling for the results to be voided and threatening a lawsuit.
The paper noted that the liberal group MoveOn.org sent a "similarly deceptive mailer" when Barack Obama ran for reelection in 2012.
But it also panned Cruz's apology as one of "righteous indignation."
“I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote," the paper quotes the Texas senator as saying.
It also blames Cruz's "defiant, anything-goes attitude" as indicative of why campaign workers were allegedly told to tell Ben Carson supporters their candidate would be dropping out in the hopes of wooing them to Cruz.
"Frankly, it’s hard to square the dishonest campaign tactics of Ted Cruz with his oft-stated support for Christian values," the Register wrote.
"Then again, it’s hard to square Cruz himself with such values."
The fiery editorial comes just one day after the paper called for a complete audit of the Democratic caucus after its razor-thin 0.2 percent margin.