"I was reasonably happy today, until I, you know, discovered the dirty tricks going on -- spreading rumors I had dropped out," Carson said on Monday night. The campaign told MSNBC they'd had "confirmed reports" of Cruz supporters telling voters at caucus sites that Carson had dropped out of the race. MSNBC has not yet confirmed the authenticity of these reports.
"That's the reason I got into this race, looking at the level of deceit and distrust going on in country," Carson told supporters.
The campaign is pointing to a tweet from Rep. Steve King, who endorsed Carson, as evidence. The tweet was sent at 8:20pm EST, when Iowans were already at caucus sites.
King was retweeting a report that the doctor was heading to Florida for a day. Carson said earlier in the night he was going home to grab some "fresh clothes," but told reporters not to read into it.
Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope. https://t.co/lW5Js50EMA
Carson's campaign rushed to downplay the importance of a trip home.
"Dr. Ben Carson is not suspending his presidential campaign, which is stronger than ever," a statement sent out to reporters read. "After spending 18 consecutive days on the campaign trail, Dr. Carson needs to go home and get a fresh set of clothes."
The campaign told NBC News Carson plans to speak at Wednesday's National Prayer Breakfast -- the event that put him on the political map just three years ago -- before heading to New Hampshire for Thursday's debate. His team could not say how many events, if any, the candidate will do while there.
See photos of Ben Carson on the campaign trail below:
Ben Carson on the campaign trail
Ben Carson: Other campaigns sabotaged us with 'dirty tricks'
MT. AYR, IA - JANUARY 22 : Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is introduced during his 'Trust in God Townhall' campaign stop January 22, 2016 in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. Carson, who is seeking the nomination from the Republican Party is on the presidential campaign trail across Iowa ahead of the Iowa Caucus taking place February 1. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a Liberty University Convocation in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. As retired neurosurgeon Carson has risen in the polls, media reports have revisited his accounts of acts of violence as a child, a key part of the redemption story he discusses on the campaign trail. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media before speaking at a gala for the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida at PGA National Resort on November 6, 2015 in Palm Beach, Florida. Carson has come under media scrutiny for possibly exaggerating his background and other statements he has made recently. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 16: Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson (L) eats a piece of pizza while touring the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage and touring the fairgrounds. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - OCTOBER 29: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during a news conference before a campaign event at Colorado Christian University on October 29, 2015 in Lakewood, Colorado. Ben Carson was back on the campaign trail a day after the third republican debate held at the University of Colorado Boulder. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Scenes around the the Value Voters Summit on September 25, 2015 in Washington DC. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson takes the stage at the event. Dr Carson speaks to the media after the speach. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Attendees wait for Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, not pictured, to arrive during a campaign stop at the birthplace of the Michigan Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Carson, the third candidate in the Republican race to have never held elected office, saw his numbers drop following the debate last week. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, listens as he attends a service at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. Carson will be speaking at the Iowa State Fair, which is expected to host 18 presidential candidates and runs until Aug. 23. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson participates in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, eats a slice of pizza as he tours the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. In a Sunday interview with Fox News, Carson doubled down on his assertion that a speech given by President Barack Obama intended to sell the American public on his nuclear deal with Iran contained 'coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes.' Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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The Granite State doesn't appear to be a high priority for Carson, a deeply religious social conservative who has focused on the early states with strong evangelical voting blocks, Iowa and South Carolina. He's spent just 13 days in New Hampshire so far, according to p2016.org. That is the same number of days Gov. Scott Walker spent in the state, when he ran for president for just three months this summer.
Despite the campaign's insistence that the campaign is strong, they did not have a particularly strong night; Sen. Ted Cruz is projected to win the caucus. Sen. Marco Rubio was surged into a strong third place, double digits ahead of Carson.