Trump hasn’t been himself lately.
The Republican presidential candidate gave an uncharacteristically gracious concession speech after coming in second place in Monday night’s Iowa caucus. He was oddly absent from Twitter for hours following the results, a space he frequents to criticize his fellow candidates. And he has been unusually peppy about falling short of number one, going so far as to say he was “honored.” He even congratulated the winner, Sen. Ted Cruz, after weeks of sharp attacks.
But that changed Wednesday morning. Shortly after appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he said he came in a “strong second place” and that he was “happy with that,” Trump reverted to his usual self, unleashing himself on Twitter to slam his chief rival.
“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!” Trump wrote. (Moments before he tweeted – and then deleted – a similar tweet, only removing the word “illegally.”)
Polls predicted Trump would prevail in Iowa, as well as in the upcoming primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina. With a loss under his belt – and no one remembers who came in second place – there are now doubts the business mogul can secure the wins it will take to land the Republican nomination.
Cruz’s campaign spokesman, Rick Tyler, responded to the tweet-storm by saying “reality has hit the reality star.”
“Since Iowa, no one is talking about Donald Trump. That’s why he’s popping off on Twitter. There are Twitter addiction therapy groups, and he should check in with his local chapter,” Tyler said in a statement.
Trump continued to accuse Cruz of being “liar” in his string of tweets Wednesday morning.
“During primetime of the Iowa Caucus, Cruz put out a release that @RealBenCarson was quitting the race, and to caucus (or vote) for Cruz,” he wrote. ”Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because of this Cruz fraud. Also, Cruz sent out a VOTER VIOLATION certificate to thousands of voters.”
Cruz’s campaign was accused of attempting to sabotage Carson’s chances in the Iowa caucus Monday night, after sending out a report suggesting Carson was going home to Florida instead of campaigning. At the time, Cruz defended the blast, saying it was “fair game,” but later – hours after winning – said it was a “mistake” and apologized. Carson’s campaign said that while they appreciate the apology, the caucus was “tainted.”
“Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because of this Cruz fraud. Also, Cruz sent out a VOTER VIOLATION certificate to thousands of voters,” Trump wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “The Voter Violation certificate gave poor marks to the unsuspecting voter(grade of F) and told them to clear it up by voting for Cruz. Fraud”
“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 wrote.