Katrina Pierson, spokesperson for the Donald Trump campaign, tells Breitbart News the latest eminent domain attack ad put out by the Ted Cruz campaign in South Carolina is misleading voters.
“This is a perfect example of selective editing to create a false narrative. The Cruz campaign has already admitted that the eminent domain attacks are dishonest, but they continue to try to mislead voters,” Pierson tells Breitbart News.
“It is also misleading to pull Mr. Trump’s words out of context to perpetuate the false narrative,” Pierson ads.
The latest Cruz ad attacking Trump on his use of eminent domain, “Parking Lot,” is his third ad to focus on that line attack. The first, “System,” ran in Iowa, and the second, “Playing Trump,” is currently running in South Carolina.
Breitbart News asked the Cruz campaign to comment on claims its third eminent domain ad, “Parking Lot,” is deceptively edited, but has not received a response.
Former Tennessee State Rep. Joe Carr, who has endorsed Cruz and is running as a Cruz delegate in the March 1 primary in Tennessee, readily offered his views on the controversy to Breitbart News.
“The quote by Donald Trump in the Cruz Campaign Video [“Parking Lot”] is perfectly consistent with Mr. Trumps views about the use of government power of eminent domain to transfer property from one private property owner to another for the expressed purpose of creating wealth on the part of the condemning entity, in this case Mr. Trump,” Carr tells Breitbart News.
“This is illustrated not just in Mr. Trumps own remarks in his interview with Chris Wallace but in his various responses when asked about his use of eminent domain for one of his properties, when posed the question during the recent debates,” Carr adds.
All three Cruz ads make reference to Vera Coking, the Atlantic City widow who successfully resisted Trump’s efforts to secure her house through the use of eminent domain in order to tear it down and replace it with a parking lot for the casino he owned at the time in that city.
The selective editing to which Pierson makes reference in her comments begin at the 44 second mark of the “Parking Lot” ad:
TRANSCRIPT OF CRUZ “PARKING LOT” COMMERCIAL from 44 second mark–
WALLACE: Do you support taking private property for private use?
TRUMP: I am for that
TRUMP: Eminent domain is wonderful
The complete transcript of Donald Trump’s response to Chris Wallace’s question “Do you support taking private property for private use?” from the October 18, 2015 Fox News Sunday interview used in the Cruz “Parking Lot” ad shows that Trump’s immediate response, “I am for that,” is the second sentence in his response, and is followed by six additional qualifying sentences. The Cruz ad deleted all these qualifying comments out.
In addition, the second clip of Trump in the “Parking Lot” ad saying “eminent domain is wonderful,” is taken from an entirely separate appearance of Trump on Fox News.
Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of the October 18, 2015 interview:
WALLACE: Do you support taking private property for private use?
TRUMP: If somebody has a property in the middle of a 7,000 job factory, as an example, that’s going to move into the town — but they need this one corner of this property, and it’s going to provide 7,000 jobs in a community that’s dying, of which we have many in this country, OK? I am for that. That’s a big economic development. (emphasis added)
But remember this: all of these people that we’re talking about, they’re friends of mine. They all love the Keystone Pipeline, right?
The Keystone Pipeline is all eminent domain. They’re building their pipeline without eminent domain. You wouldn’t be able to build.
WALLACE: But let me ask you since you were involved in a case like this, as you know, in the 90s —
TRUMP: That’s true. That was an economic development.
WALLACE: — in Atlantic City.
WALLACE: You had your hotels, and you wanted to build a parking lot where some woman had her house —
TRUMP: She saved me a fortune.
WALLACE: I guess the question is, why do you need to take her house for a parking lot?
TRUMP: I tell you what. Because I have a hotel, and in order to expand the hotel and add 2,000 rooms, I would have had to take her thing.
Now, the 2,000 rooms would have provided about 2,500 jobs. Ultimately offered a lot of money, she didn’t take it, I didn’t build the job. I didn’t do it. Saved me a lot of money because Atlantic City, you know, I had the good sense to leave 7 years ago. I got very lucky.
Yes, I think that would have been a good eminent domain because you would have provided thousands of jobs. And this is a woman who couldn’t have cared less about her house. All she wanted was money.
While seasoned political observers may consider such selective editing merely “politics as usual,” the Trump campaign says Cruz is hypocritical in its argument.
“If the Cruz campaign wanted to help those who are suffering from eminent domain abuse they would turn their attention to the state he currently represents,” Trump camapign spokesperson Pierson tells Breitbart News.
“Trans-Canada, a private foreign company, had 78 year old grandmother Eleanor Fairchild arrested on her own property in East Texas after they seized it using eminent domain. Julia Crawford, a third generation Texas farmer continued to fight with other Texans to stop Canada for seizing US private property for their private use,” Pierson notes.
“The Cruz campaign is not launching an attack on eminent domain, they are launching an attack on United States capitalism,” she adds.
“The Trump family has been creating jobs longer than some of these candidates have been alive. There aren’t enough attack ads in the world that can change that,” Pierson continues.
“Perhaps this publicly exposes that the Cruz campaign’s loyalty is to private Canadian business interests which is something that should concern voters,” she concludes.
But Cruz supporter Carr, who was a Tenth Amendment champion when he served in the Tennessee General Assembly, has a very different take.
“None of Mr. Trump’s quotes were taken out of context nor were they misleading to his belief in the right of the government to seize the property of one land owner and redistribute it to another landowner against the original land owner’s will,” Carr tells Breitbart News.
“Moreover, Mr. Trump’s argument that a land owner gets rich through condemnation is laughable given that state and local laws in many cases prohibit the compensation that is any amount over the “market value” of the property. Many times the ‘market value’ is set by the condemning entity, or government, not the property owner. As such the property owner has little choice but to sell or go to court which can very expensive and time consuming,” he notes.
“Regardless, using the government power of eminent domain to condemn the property of one individual for the expressed purpose of giving it to another individual apart from a the strictest definition of ‘public use’ is a fundamental tenant of socialism. This of course has been made easier since the Supreme Courts decision Kelo v New London, 2005. It’s lawful but this was an egregious decision with which our Founding Fathers most certainly would not agree,” Carr concludes.
Supreme Court Justice Scalia, who died on Saturday, was one of four dissenting justices in the 2005 Kelo v New London decision.
Eminent domain was a hot topic at the GOP Presidential debate in Greenville, South Carolina Saturday night.