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Scott Brown Endorses Donald Trump In New Hampshire

MILFORD, NH (CBS/AP) - Donald Trump got a local boost from former Mass. Sen. Scott Brown who backed him before a packed crowd of thousands in Milford while Trump defended his second place finish in Iowa.

"I went there and I think we did really well, we did really well," Trump said.

Suddenly, for Trump, second place is OK.

"We did really fantastically and came very close to winning," Trump said.

Trump Brown
Donald Trump hugs former Mass. Sen. Scott Brown as he endorses him for president during a campaign event at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Trump says his decision to skip the last GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses may have contributed to his second-place finish. But the billionaire businessman says he'd do it the same if he had to do it again.

Trump finished second to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Monday evening's contest after placing first in multiple polls.

He skipped the debate because of a spat with Fox News and instead held a fundraiser for veterans that raised $6 million.

Trump says he "would never, ever give that up to go between first and second in Iowa."

His New Hampshire supporters though are disappointed.

"I was disappointed but I don't think it will matter," said Valeria Yule. "He will do well in New Hampshire, he will be first in New Hampshire no doubt."

But many at the rally, including Ernie Boch Jr., say Trump is still their best bet.

"You have to pick you have to pick who you want and I think that Mr. Trump with all his good and all his bad is best for the job," Boch said.

Related: Healey, Giffords Endorse Clinton In NH

Scott Brown's backing marks Trump's first endorsement by a current or former senator. It provides additional evidence that some in the Republican establishment are beginning to warm to a potential candidacy.

For Ted Cruz, the man who did come out on top in Iowa, Tuesday was about riding that wave into NH, telling Granite Staters he needs their help.

"There are Americans across this country that are counting on you to make that determination," Cruz said.

And even Marco Rubio, who finished third in Iowa, says it's time to turn the page to New Hampshire and keep his momentum going.

"If I'm our nominee we are going to beat Hillary Clinton and it won't be by the flip of a coin, I promise you that," Rubio said.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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