In what can only be described as a strange move for a man running for president of the United States, Republican candidate Ben Carson‘s campaign announced that he would return to his Florida home Monday after the Iowa Caucuses “to get a fresh set of clothes.”
Carson spoke at a victory rally before the final results were counted prior to his departure, reports CNN. The move comes as other presidential candidates are gearing up for early-voting races in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Larry Ross, a spokesman for Carson, said in a statement that the retired neurosurgeon “is not suspending his presidential campaign, which is stronger than ever.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz emerged the victor of the Iowa Republican Caucus, with Donald Trump coming in second.
Carson, the one-time front-runner in Iowa, came in fourth behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“After spending 18 consecutive days on the campaign trail, Dr. Carson needs to go home and get a fresh set of clothes,” Ross said. “He will be departing Des Moines later tonight to avoid the snow storm and will be back on the trail Wednesday. We look forward to tonight’s caucus results and to meaningful debates in New Hampshire and South Carolina.”
Spence Rogers, one of Cruz’s Iowa staffers, sent out an email “hinting that Carson planned to leave the race,” prompting Carson to cry foul, writes CNN:
Carson’s campaign was furious, and Carson himself decried the message as a “dirty trick” during remarks at a party with supporters in West Des Moines.
“This is really a dirty trick,” Carson said. “This makes me more determined than ever to keep going.”
Cruz’s campaign defended Rogers’ message to the precinct captains.
The kerfuffle comes as Republican contender and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced the suspension of his campaign.
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SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform