Cruz remains a thorn in Trump's side
Trump had hoped he could win the home state of Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — the only candidate who had beat him in a pre-Super Tuesday contest.
But the winner of the Iowa caucus carried Texas, and even outperformed his polling averages by taking Oklahoma from Trump. In an interview with MSNBC after those projected results, Cruz suggested he was the only candidate capable of defeating the real estate magnate, but he shied away from calling on others to drop out.
For his part, Trump twice mentioned Cruz's Texas victory in his own Tuesday address. "I want to congratulate Ted on the winning of Texas, he worked hard on it," Trump said. "I know how hard we worked actually, so I congratulate Ted Cruz on that win, it was an excellent win."
Rough night for Rubio
Trump had less kind words, however, for the other senator challenging him for the Republican nomination. In addition to celebrating his win over Florida's Marco Rubio in Virginia, he also highlighted polls showing he is likely to win the Sunshine State later this month.
"I know it was a very tough night for Marco Rubio — he had a tough night," Trump said Tuesday. "He worked hard, he spent a lot of money — he is a lightweight as I've said many times before. But you know what? We're going to go to Florida, we're going to spend so much time in Florida."
Rubio, who was the projected winner in the Minnesota caucus on Tuesday, his only win so far, attempted to strike an optimistic note, saying he is "so excited for what lies ahead for our campaign."
But that road ahead will be challenging for his campaign. An apparent favorite of Republican leadership, Rubio has only been able to secure one outright state victory with his endorsements and big donations.