Carson: Iowa rumors a Benghazi moment for Cruz

Republican presidential hopeful Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonOvernight Regulation: Facebook faces new crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Whistleblower gets record SEC payout | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian | Trump bans trading in Venezuelan cryptocurrency Kelly tells White House staff no more personnel changes coming The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE is comparing rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian The case for a new branch of the military: United States Space Force The problem with hindsight MORE’s failure to discipline staffers who spread rumors on the night of the Iowa caucuses to Hillary Clinton’s testimony about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

Asked whether he was satisfied with Cruz’s response to campaign aides who erroneously told precinct captains that Carson was dropping out of the race, the retired neurosurgeon said it’s “not the way that I would have handled it.”

“I would have said if I didn’t agree with what’s being said — which he did say that — I would make sure that it didn’t happen again. And I would take corrective action,” Carson told radio host Todd Starnes, as first reported by BuzzFeed News

“Not to take corrective action is tacitly saying it’s OK, or it’s sort of like, as Hillary Clinton said after Benghazi, ‘What difference does it make?’ ” he continued, referring to the former secretary of State’s congressional testimony eight months after the terrorist attack.

Pressed by Starnes whether Cruz’s rumor mongering rose to the seriousness of the Benghazi attack, Carson said the incidents were only equivalent in moral apathy.

“Well, I’m not saying that it rises to the level of Benghazi,” he said. “I’m saying it’s the same kind of attitude, the attitude being it’s water under the bridge, it’s gone by, let’s not deal with it." 

A pair of voicemails obtained by Breitbart News on Thursday revealed Cruz staffers telling Iowa precinct captains to tell Carson supporters not to vote for the neurosurgeon because he was dropping out of the campaign.

The calls, made at 7:07 and 7:29 p.m., came after the Carson campaign clarified an earlier CNN report that said he was going back to Florida to take a breather from the campaign trail.

Carson sent a fundraising email Thursday night demanding Cruz hold his campaign accountable.