MANCHESTER, N.H. -- As Donald Trump brought up his chief rival, Ted Cruz, during a rally in a sports arena the night before the New Hampshire primary, a woman in the crowd shouted out an insult of the senator from Texas.

"She just said a terrible thing," Trump said with a smile. "You know what she said? Shout it out."

The woman shouted louder, but still couldn't be heard throughout the cavernous arena.

"Okay, you're not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that from you again," Trump said with mock seriousness, like a father reprimanding a child. "She said -- I never expect to hear that from you again! -- she said: 'He's a pussy.' That's terrible."

The crowd of several thousand burst into cheers, applause and laughter, while reporters asked one another if they had heard that right.

"What kind of people do I have here?" Trump asked. "What do I have?"

Trump then reflected on other times that members of his audience have shouted out controversial things, and he has come under fire for not denouncing their statements, like when a man at a town hall in New Hampshire several months ago shouted out that President Obama is a Muslim.

This time, Trump made a show of distancing himself from the insult he had just repeated: "You're reprimanded, okay?"

He then polled the audience: "Can she stay? Can she stay?"

The answer: A roaring yes.