(POLITICO) MANCHESTER, N.H. — Five days from the New Hampshire primary, Ben Carson has yet to set foot in this state since his fourth-place finish in Iowa. His detour to Florida for a fresh set of clothes has become a running joke online. The candidate is, by all indications, consumed by what he calls the “dirty tricks” of Ted Cruz’s campaign.
“Dr. Carson feels absolutely robbed, violated," said Armstrong Williams, a Carson confidant, in a phone interview. "He realizes, the Democrats are not his enemies trying to malign him. It’s people who smile in his face, shake his hand, go out to dinner with him and yet they’re trying to destroy him behind his back.”
Carson was fading before Iowa, and an exit from the race after Monday’s caucuses was not a far-fetched scenario. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported he’s cutting staff and salaries to rein in exorbitant campaign spending. But the Cruz episode has given Carson renewed purpose, and he now looks determined to spend whatever time he has left in the campaign making the Texan pay.
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