Donald Trump: Marco Rubio 'may have lost some momentum'

Trump: 'Wouldn't be happy' with second place in N.H.
Trump: 'Wouldn't be happy' with second place in N.H.

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Trump: 'Wouldn't be happy' with second place in N.H. 01:42

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump in an interview declined to knock Marco Rubio
  • But he suggested the Florida senator "may have lost some momentum"

Plymouth, New Hampshire (CNN)Donald Trump declined Sunday to knock Marco Rubio, one of his chief New Hampshire primary rivals, but suggested the Florida senator "may have lost some momentum."

Trump's comments came in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, the day after he and the rest of the GOP field faced off in the last debate before the New Hampshire primary -- one in which Rubio repeatedly took fire from most of his rivals, except for Trump.
"Last night's debate was very important for a lot of people including Rubio because he had good moment and I think he may have lost some of that momentum," Trump said, adding he was basing his assessment on "what I'm hearing about the debate."
Rubio's third place finish in the Iowa caucuses, coupled with his strong positioning in New Hampshire polls, would seemingly make him a ripe target for Trump's wrath.
But Trump has demurred.
Instead, he has downplayed expectations that he will win in New Hampshire -- though he said Sunday that he "wouldn't be happy" if he came in second place.
"I've developed a certain confidence," Trump said Sunday after Bash asked him if the reduced attacks at other candidates suggest he's changed as a candidate.
Trump has also been pressed on whether his ground game -- which he said could have been stronger in Iowa -- is now up to snuff in New Hampshire.
Asked about it Sunday, Trump pivoted to what he said matters more: "the product."
"If I give you the wrong product you can do all of the social engineering in the world and you're not going to get anything," Trump said. "I've done my job. I'm the product -- the product is me in a sense. But you know you can have all the data in the world if you don't have the right person okay."