Trump: Without Cruz’s ‘Fraud,’ ‘I Probably Came In First’ in Iowa

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he ” probably” won in Iowa but his close second place was only because his rival Ted Cruz’s campaign told voters Dr. Ben Carson was dropping out of the race and did a mailing that looked like a government form which Trump called “a fraud.”

Host Jake Tapper asked, “You’ve enjoyed some big leads in the polls here in New Hampshire for many months. You’re still on top of the polls. Is Tuesday must-win after the loss in Iowa?”

Trump responded, “There wasn’t a loss. I came in second. I only came in second because of the fact that Cruz took a lot of votes away from Carson that should not have been taken away. He’s apologized, but I don’t know what comes of that. Let’s see what happens. I came in second. But that was the only reason so I came in second out of the original 17 candidates. I don’t consider that a loss, and I probably came in first in actuality.”

Trump continued, “Well, I hope to win. I don’t know. I came in second. I picked up a lot of delegates. You know, I picked up one less than Cruz, and maybe that gets turned over. Who knows what’s going to happen? But I picked up a lot of delegates in Iowa. and in New Hampshire I think I’m going to do very well. I have a great relationship between the vets and all of the people of New Hampshire. They just seem to be very positive for me. They’ve known me for a long time and they’re great people. I think I’m going to do very well in New Hampshire. I want to win New Hampshire, but I don’t think I have to win it, no.”

In discussing a controversial mailer the Cruz campaign released in Iowa, Trump added, “Well, I think a voter violation form, which looked like it came from the IRS — I mean, it looked like it came from a government agency, was a fraud. But I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m thinking only of New Hampshire, the people of New Hampshire. I’m going to be here for the next three or four days. And I’m going to love it, and then we’re going to go to South Carolina. And we had — I was there two nights ago. we had 12,000 people in a stadium that was amazing”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN