MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Billionaire Donald Trump scored his first political victory Tuesday, as he won the Republican presidential nomination in a crowded field in New Hampshire.
Early on in the count, the Queens native and New York real estate mogul came in with 35 percent on the Republican side, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 16 percent, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz with 12 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 11 percent, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio with 10 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 7 percent, Carly Fiorina with 4 percent, and Ben Carson with 2 percent.
When word came in at 8 p.m. that Trump was declared the winner, his supporters at campaign headquarters in Manchester shouted his name and they waved foam fingers emblazoned with the phrase, “You’re Hired.”
CBSN reported the local fire marshal had to shut the doors for a Trump rally in Manchester and keep others from coming inside. Trump began speaking to supporters around 10 p.m.
“We are going to make America great again,” Trump told supporters before he thanked his family and other supporters.
Trump went on to congratulate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), who won the Democratic primary, but quickly denounced Sanders’ platform.
“Congratulations to Bernie in all fairness. We have to congratulate him. We may not like it,” he said, “but I heard parts of Bernie’s speech. He wants to give away our country, folks. He wants to give it away. We’re not going to let that happen.”
Trump said further that he would achieve his goals through muscle and business savvy.
“We are going to make America great again, but we’re going to do it the old-fashioned way. We’re going to beat China, Japan. We’re going to beat Mexico at trade,” he said.
He added that unlike other candidates who are dependent on lobbyists and outside funding, his self-financed campaign truly had the best interests of America in mind.
On specific policy plans, Trump said he would build a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants, build up the armed forces, repeal President Barack Obama’s health care plan, and protect the Second Amendment – blaming strict gun control laws in France for the deadly effects of the Paris terror attacks in November.
Trump also claimed that unemployment was far higher than official figures state, and vowed to do something about it.
“I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created – remember that. Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35; in fact, I even heard recently 42 percent,” Trump said.
He vowed further to “knock the hell out of ISIS.”
“We are going to make America great again – maybe greater than ever before,” Trump said.
Early exit polls showed Trump drew support from voters looking for an outsider and from those who made up their minds a while ago.
The win came days after Trump’s second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Trump has used the unconventional tactic of using large, rambunctious rallies and sharp criticism of opponents.
Trump had led a Republican field that has been in flux in the final days of campaigning across snowy New Hampshire. A rocky debate performance by Rubio has jeopardized his chance to pull away from a trio of governors and firmly establish himself as the chief rival to Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
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Count car salesman Val Goldenberg as one of those Trump voters. At a Nashua polling place, Goldenberg said he voted for the billionaire because he likes the business mogul’s “non-politician” credentials.
Mary O’Malley, 84, of Manchester picked Trump because “he’s not part of the establishment. He’s going to get things done and he’s not going to put up with any baloney.”
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, other Republicans also had reasons to celebrate Tuesday night. Kasich emerged from the back after staking his entire campaign on New Hampshire, having held more than 100 town halls.
He could now be favored as the anti-Trump, Kramer reported.
“Tonight, the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning,” Kasich said in his speech Tuesday night.
As for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, he was philosophical as he said he would return to New Jersey and consider the next step.
“I have both won elections I was supposed to lose, and I have lost elections that I was supposed to win, and what that means is you never know. And it’s both the magic and the mystery of politics that you never know which one is going to happen, even when you think you do,” Christie said.
Christie congratulated Trump, saying the people of New Hampshire had picked their favorite. He further said he plans to go home to New Jersey on Wednesday and decided whether he will go on with his campaign.
“Mary Pat and I spoke tonight, and we’ve decided that we’re going to go home to New Jersey tomorrow and we’re going to take a deep breath, see what the final results are tonight because that matters,” Christie said.
The victory for Trump came as a controversy broke out.
On Tuesday morning, Christie went after Trump for repeating a vulgar and offensive word a woman yelled at his rally Monday night used to describe Cruz.
“I wouldn’t do it, but he did,” Christie told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer. “It’s kind of amazing to be in a race where someone will say things more direct than I do. I don’t think it’s the kind of thing a presidential candidate says.”
At one point during Trump’s rally, a woman in the crowd was heard calling Cruz a p***y.
“She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out,” Trump told the woman before repeating it himself. “That’s terrible, terrible! What kind of people do I have here?”
“I don’t think that’s appropriate for candidates running for president,” said Jeb Bush.
It was not clear if any of the candidate attacks and counter attacks would matter much, especially to Trump supporters, Kramer reported.
“I voted for Donald Trump,” said voter Stephen Hebert. “I kind of feel he’s saying all the right things that everybody wants to say, but they’re afraid to.”
(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.)