MILFORD, N.H. (UPI) — Donald Trump wondered aloud why the media seemed to chide him for coming in second in the Iowa caucuses, but praised Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who came in third.
“The headline is ‘Winner Of The Night, Marco Rubio!”‘ he shouted at a campaign rally in Milford, N.H. on Tuesday. “‘Trump Humiliated!”‘
“There was a big difference between second and third,” Trump told the audience.
Trump, who was leading in the last polls in Iowa, with the Des Moines Register poll released on Jan. 31 showing him with 28 percent of the vote, ended up with 24.3 percent, with 23.1 percent for Rubio. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came in first place with 27.6 percent. Cruz was awarded eight delegates while Trump and Rubio both got seven.
“I was expected to come in like anywhere maybe 10, 11, 12, 13,” Trump said. “I ended up coming in second. Didn’t devote tremendous time to [Iowa], didn’t devote tremendous money to it.”
CBS News reported that Iowa was in fact Trump’s biggest investment so far in the race, with an Iowa campaign staff larger than that of most presidential candidates. Iowa was the state to which he paid the most visits, sometimes hosting three events in one day. However, Trump later admitted to Fox News that a weak grassroots operation in the state may have cost him first place. He also said skipping the most recent presidential debate could have hurt him, but said he would make the same decision again, pointing to the $6 million he says he raised for veterans organizations by holding a counter-event.
Tuesday night’s event was Trump’s first public appearance since the caucuses. He was introduced by former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who endorsed Trump, calling the real estate mogul an “agent of change.”
Trump said he expects better results in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Feb. 9. “I think it fits me better, probably suits me better,” he told the crowd.
While he has said he’s “honored” to have placed second in Iowa, he told Tuesday’s crowd: “Finishing second wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I’d like to finish first.”
The latest University of Massachusetts/7 News tracking poll shows Trump with a 24-point lead in New Hampshire, with the support of 38 percent of likely Republican voters, compared to 14 percent for Cruz and 12 percent for Rubio. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has 9 percent in the same poll, and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has been endorsed by several New Hampshire newspapers, has 7 percent. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was endorsed by the largest newspaper in the state, the Union-Leader, has 6 percent.
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