A condescending and defiant Chris Moody appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter Sunday to finally address the origins of the “BREAKING” news story that Ben Carson was heading to Florida instead of New Hampshire.
During the segment, Moody completely downplayed CNN’s clear role in the confusion, and in fact, strongly implied that the initial reporting included information that Ben Carson was going to New Hampshire, which was not the case.
Additionally, Moody said that according to “two sources, on the record” from Carson’s campaign, Carson was going to Florida “to take just a short, brief, rest” before heading to D.C. During his initial report, Jake Tapper specifically stated that Carson was “going to go home to rest for a few days” which, during a fast-paced presidential campaign, is much more than “just a short, brief, rest.” Dana Bash said Carson was going home for “for several days” and undoubtedly fueled speculation when she added,
“Look, if you want to be President of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida. I mean, that’s bottom line. That’s the end of the story. If you want to signal to your supporters that you want it, that you’re hungry for it, that you want them to get out and and campaign, you’ve got to be out there doing it too. And he’s not doing it. it’s very unusual.”
As an aside, why have the two sources from Carson’s camp not been identified if they were “on the record?”
Chris Moody further accused Ted Cruz’s campaign of cherry picking the information from the news reports and lamented:
“…either Ted Cruz’s campaign stopped reading or as others have said, it was intentionally misleading.”
Breaking it down:
The “BREAKING” news story by CNN’s Chris Moody gave many people the impression that Dr. Ben Carson was calling it quits from his presidential campaign. Moody initially indicated that Carson was going to Florida, and then to D.C. He did not say a peep about New Hampshire, aside from saying “Carson won’t go to NH/SC.”
Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.
— Chris Moody (@moody) February 2, 2016
In the wake of his “BREAKING” story, Dana Bash said (entire transcript below):
“…Ben Carson is going to go back to Florida, to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He’s going to go there for several days. And then afterwards, he’s not going to go to South Carolina. He’s not going to go to New Hampshire. He’s going to come to Washington, D.C., and he’s going to do that because the National Prayer Breakfast is on Thursday.”
Further, Jake Tapper tweeted:
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 2, 2016
Moody did not indicate that Carson would be going back to New Hampshire or South Carolina, nor did CNN Correspondents Dana Bash or Jake Tapper (see below for entire transcript).
Moody came back to clarify that Carson “plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa…” but this was not mentioned during the CNN broadcast.
Ben Carson’s campaign tells me he plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa no matter what the results are tonight.
— Chris Moody (@moody) February 2, 2016
With this in mind, consider the latest testimony by Chris Moody.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 7, 2016
Here is the transcript of Moody’s comments:
“Yeah Brian [Stelter]. Let me give you a tick tock about what happened that night. I was assigned to cover Carson’s victory party in West Des Moines, in Iowa. His campaign – two sources, on the record – told me that instead of going straight to New Hampshire or straight to South Carolina as most candidates do, he’s going to take just a short, brief, rest. They described it as ‘deep breath’ by going home to Florida, getting his affairs in order and then, head to Washington, D.C. for the National Prayer Breakfast and then, after that, head to New Hampshire for the debate.
And so, I reported that all of those things, in order: He’s going to Florida, He’s – and then I said ‘[H]e’s not dropping out.’ Ted Cruz’s campaign cherry picked part of that information – not only sent that information to precinct captain [sic] on email, but also called and said he’s [Carson] suspending campaigning which is something I or no one else at CNN ever said. We also had a story at CNNPolitics.com with all of that information so either Ted Cruz’s campaign stopped reading or as others have said, it was intentionally misleading.”
Here is the transcript of the original news report, as provided by Breitbart:
Tapper: Thanks, Wolf. Well, CNN has learned some news about the man who, at least according to polls, is in fourth place here in Iowa. Now, Dana, a week from tomorrow, we’re all going to be doing this again for the New Hampshire primary. So almost every single candidate is going to be going directly from here to New Hampshire to campaign–except for the man in fourth place, who a few months ago was in first place here, Dr. Ben Carson. What have we learned?
Bash: That’s right. We should say that our Chris Moody is breaking this news, that Ben Carson is going to go back to Florida, to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He’s going to go there for several days. And then afterwards, he’s not going to go to South Carolina. He’s not going to go to New Hampshire. He’s going to come to Washington, D.C., and he’s going to do that because the National Prayer Breakfast is on Thursday. And people who have been following Ben Carson’s career know that that’s really where he got himself on the political map, attending that prayer breakfast, and really giving it to President Obama at the time. And he became kind of a hero among conservatives, among evangelicals especially.
Tapper: But it’s very unusual–
Bash: Very unusual.
Tapper: –to be announcing that you’re going to go home to rest for a few days, not going on to the next site. Plus, he’s already announced that he’s going to be coming out and speaking at 9:15 local and 10:15 Eastern, no matter whether or not we know the results, because he wants to get home and get ahead of the storm.
Bash: Look, if you want to be President of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida. I mean, that’s bottom line. That’s the end of the story. If you want to signal to your supporters that you want it, that you’re hungry for it, that you want them to get out and and campaign, you’ve got to be out there doing it too. And he’s not doing it. it’s very unusual.
Tapper: Very unusual news that CNN has just learned. CNN’s Chris Moody breaking the story. Wolf, back to you in Washington.
Blitzer: Very significant news indeed, guys, thanks very much.
Ted Cruz apologized, publicly, twice.
But while Carson and CNN have repeatedly bashed Ted Cruz, nobody mentions that this all happened during a frenzied Iowa caucus. Where were Ben Carson’s people on the ground to clarify CNN’s misleading report?
It seems to this author that CNN and Ben Carson’s staff are largely to blame for this massive gaffe.