Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump heaped scorn Tuesday on the media reaction to his surprise defeat in Iowa at the hands of Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

At a rally in Milford, New Hampshire, a week before the primary, Trump said the media unfairly proclaimed the third-place finish of Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio as a success.

Trump in NH Donald Trump ridicules the media description of his second-place showing in Iowa during a campaign rally in Milford, New Hampshire, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar

"How come the guy that comes in third, isn't this typical reporter, the media, the worst people ever,  the worst!," he told a cheering crowd.

All signs had pointed to a Trump victory in the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest in the race for the White House, with the Des Moines Register's influential poll giving Trump the lead on the weekend before Iowans gathered on Monday.

Trump called on voters to place more emphasis on the fact that he is the only candidate who is funding his own campaign and will not owe favors to any big-money donors after the election.