Trump: Cruz 'badly hurt' by debate
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Republican primary front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat O'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms MORE on Friday said rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape O'Rourke says he will not 'in any scenario' run for Senate MORE got “very badly hurt” at Thursday night’s presidential debate. 

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“He did, he got very badly hurt, and he’s going down,” Trump said in an interview with NH1 News. “Ted Cruz is going down. Plus he’s got the Canada problem. I mean, he’s got a huge problem. That problem with Canada as to whether or not he can even run. I think he cannot run.”

“It was not a good night for him, and it wasn’t good for a couple of the other folks,” he added. “It was not good at all.”

Trump later said he had not watched the whole debate.

“No, I didn’t even watch the whole debate, I’m going to watch it later,” the real estate magnate said.

When asked if he skipped the debate “by design” in order to damage Cruz, with whom he is running neck-and-neck in Iowa, Trump said the move was more “by instinct." 

“I’d like to tell you it was by design, maybe it was by instinct,” he said.

The billionaire businessman, who held a private rally to raise money for veterans instead of attending the Fox News debate due to his feud with co-moderator Megyn Kelly, called his event “fantastic."

“I raised $6 million as you saw by doing my own event,” he said. “And I actually think my own event was better for me than doing the debate.”

“We had a packed house, we had thousands and thousands of people, it got coverage at the same extent as the debate and maybe more,” he added.

“It worked out to be fantastic.”