Donald Trump charged Sunday that students at Saint Anselm College sold their tickets at Saturday night’s debate to big money donors who booed him on stage.
“The kids made a fortune last night. The kids were scalping tickets,” Trump told a rally at Plymouth State University, accusing rich donors who support other candidates -- chiefly Jeb Bush -- of scooping up the audience tickets and booing him.
“I looked at that audience, I said, 'This is really tough. I am their worst nightmare,’ “ he said. He charged that he got only 20 tickets, despite being “the one who brought all the action.” Without him participating, he suggested, there would have been “four people in line.”
The school said it didn’t happen: “Transfer or the sale of a ticket is not possible according to regulations of the (Republican National Committee) ticketing system and the identification requirements of the Secret Service,” a college spokesman said via email. “We know of no instance of a student reselling or attempting to resell a ticket."
About 75 of the 1,000 attendees were Republican National Committee donors, the RNC said. The school got about 200 tickets and the other tickets were distributed among the campaigns, the state Republican party and the debate sponsors.
The boos for Trump came as he and Bush engaged in a heated debate over eminent domain, the process in which the government seizes private property for public use or projects.
The accusation that he was set up came as Trump seeks to gain ground after a less than lustrous finish in Iowa, stepping up his efforts in New Hampshire, by adding primary-eve rallies and retail events.
Trump, who missed a day of campaigning here Friday because his plane couldn’t land in the snow, arrived at Plymouth State after shaking hands at a diner.
Trump, who is leading in the polls, earlier insisted that he doesn’t “need” a New Hampshire win, but told Meet the Press that he’s learned from Iowa and that he needs to add traditional elements to a campaign that has relied generally on one large rally, a day.
“I think that you will see it here,” Trump said. His campaign Sunday added three events for Monday, in addition to an already-scheduled rally in Manchester.
“Great place, great people here,” Trump told the audience here. “I don’t need your money, I need your vote.”
Trump declined in the Meet the Press interview to elaborate on his remarks at the Republican debate Saturday that he’d bring back waterboarding -- which is banned by the Army Field Manual -- and would embrace tactics a “hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
“I'm not going to define it to you on this program,” Trump said. “But I would be very much in favor of going beyond waterboarding. And believe me, in terms of getting information, it works.”
And the crowd in Plymouth applauded heartily when he pledged to reintroduce the practice.