Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad chastised Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign for “unethical and unfair” practices on its way to winning Monday’s caucuses.
The Texas senator has received significant criticism from rivals Donald Trump and Ben Carson after his campaign passed along reports Monday night that Carson was on the verge of dropping out. That, critics claim, could have dissuaded voters from voting for Carson at a pivotal time.
“We have a strong sense of fairness in Iowa,”Branstad told Radio Iowa on Thursday. “Distributing information that was not true about a candidate right at the time people are voting in the caucuses is an inappropriate thing.”
Branstad lampooned the tactic as “unethical and unfair,” and warned that he thinks there will be “repercussions.”
The Republican governor has made his public distaste for Cruz well-known, specifically criticizing him for his stance against federal ethanol subsidies. Just weeks before the caucusess, Branstad told voters not to caucus for the Texas senator, accusing him of being financed by oil companies and saying his election to the presidency could hurt Iowans.
Cruz has fought back, calling Branstad’s son a lobbyist “who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying on ethanol.”
Carson’s campaign has been on the warpath against Cruz, fundraising off the controversy, criticizing Cruz to reporters and condemning him in a hastily arranged news conference in Washington on Wednesday.
Trump, who finished in second place in Iowa, has seized on the concerns to call for the results to be voided.