Just one day after accepting defeat in the Iowa caucuses and ceding to his chief rival, GOP candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump is calling the results fraudulent.
While polls showed Trump leading Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the lead-up to Monday’s vote, Trump came in second by 4 percentage points. On Tuesday, Trump was conciliatory, saying that while he had lost Iowa, he was still proud of his performance. But by Wednesday, Trump, a prolific Twitter user, had changed his tune.
“Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Trump went on to criticize Cruz for misleading voters into believing another rival, Dr. Ben Carson, had dropped out of the race when he hadn’t. He also slammed Cruz’s campaign for sending out mailers accusing voters of a sham “voting violation.”
“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area,” the mailer read, according to the New Yorker. “Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”
In response to the Cruz mailers, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said Cruz’s campaign had misrepresented state law.
“Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law. Accusing citizens of Iowa of a ‘voting violation’ based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act,” he wrote.
Cruz seemed unapologetic in the face of criticism, telling reporters, “”I will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote … Iowa, as first in the nation, has an incredibly important role in deciding who the next commander-in-chief of this country will be.”
To what extent Trump is willing to go to prove his point is unclear but he remained adamant on Wednesday that Cruz stole the caucus from him.
“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” Trump tweeted. “That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”