Trump: I didn’t lose Iowa

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Republican presidential hopeful Donald TrumpDonald TrumpVulnerable GOP senators praise Kaine Pro-abortion rights groups give Kaine nod of approval Report: Trump to create super-PACs to attack Cruz, Kasich MORE on Sunday said he wouldn’t characterize his second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses a “loss,” arguing that he still did very well and would have come in first if primary rival Ted Cruz hadn’t taken votes from Ben Carson.

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“It wasn’t a loss, I came in second,” Trump said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And 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.”

“But my second-place finish, which was substantially second place – I mean, [Sen. Marco] Rubio wasn’t that close – and my second-place finish – which, again, I say was first place – but my second-place finish had more votes than anybody in the history of that whole thing’s history – that includes everybody – other than Cruz,” he added.

The billionaire businessman also left open the possibility that the results could be reversed.

“I came in second, I picked up a lot of delegates, and, you know, I picked up one less than Cruz, and maybe that gets turned over,” he said. “Who knows what’s going to happen?”

Trump also said the Texas senator’s use of a voter-turnout flier marked “voter violation” that mimicked an official document was akin to “fraud.”

“Well, I think the 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,” he said. “But I’m not thinking about that right now, I’m thinking only of New Hampshire and the people of New Hampshire."

He said his ground game in Iowa was “maybe not the greatest,” but argued that the New Hampshire primary is a “very different ballgame.”

“Now I will say this, with Iowa, I will say that it’s very tough to poll caucuses – you know, it’s a very different ballgame,” he said. “Whereas in New Hampshire, you know, you’re going to go in and vote, and I think it’s much different.”

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