The Republican frontrunner has admitted that his absence at the Republican Party debate might have affected his chances at the Iowa Caucuses
Washington: Having faced a shock defeat in Iowa, controversial Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said his decision to skip the Fox News debate just ahead of the crucial caucuses may have cost him.
Donald Trump addresses the media in New Hampshire. Pic/AFP
"I think it could’ve been with the debate," Trump admitted in New Hampshire when asked about his second-place finish. "I think some people were disappointed that I didn’t go into the debate," he was quoted as saying. Despite leading in most of the pre-caucus polls, the 69-year-old real estate billionaire finished second behind Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Trump decided not to participate in the last Republican Party debate, opting out of the nationally televised clash over a female anchor he calls "biased". Trump announced a rival event to benefit Veteran Organisations in Des Moines exactly at the same time as the debate. He shunned the last primary debate before the Iowa caucuses but relished the drama triggered by his snub of the top US news network and taunted his rivals.
Not giving up
Trump’s fundraiser raised $6 million. Trump asserted that he would make the same decision again, saying he, "would never, ever give that up (fundraiser for veterans) to go between first and second in Iowa." Trump was also quoted as saying that his campaign "didn’t have much of a ground game because I didn't think I was going to be winning."