Despite leading in the polls by nearly 5 points heading into the vote in Iowa Monday, frontrunner Donald Trump found himself staring at a 4-point loss to Ted Cruz and barely edging out a surging Marco Rubio for second. After the loss, The Donald went conspicuously silent on Twitter, finally breaking the silence at 11:30 A.M. to issue complaints about the media's unfair coverage of the event and the voters not giving him enough credit for self-funding his campaign.
"The media has not covered my long-shot great finish in Iowa fairly," Trump tweeted late Tuesday morning. "Brought in record voters and got second highest vote total in history!" He followed the complaint by accusing voters of not giving him "any credit" for self-funding and saying it was "not worth it!"
After the results from the caucus solidified Monday night, to the surprise of all, Trump gave a markedly humble and even gracious brief speech in which he congratulated the man he'd been trashing over the last few weeks, praised his "terrific" competitors, and said he was "honored" to come in second.
"We finished second, and I want to tell you something: I'm just honored. I'm really honored," said Trump. "And I want to congratulate Ted, and I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates, including Mike Huckabee, who has become a really good friend of mine."
Along with Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley, Huckabee announced Monday night that he was suspending his campaign. Huckabee became particularly aggressive in going after Cruz leading up to the Iowa vote, leading some to believe he might endorse either Trump or Rubio, so there's perhaps some political positioning behind Trump's praise as well here.
Despite the toned down remarks, Trump still predicted that he would end up winning New Hampshire and eventually the nomination, vowing to "go on to beat Hillary or Bernie or whoever the hell [the Democrats] throw up there."
The tone of Trump's comments drew a sharp contrast with those of Cruz, who proclaimed triumphantly that the result was a "victory for the grass roots" and "for courageous conservatives across Iowa and across this great nation."