Donald Trump is pushing back against a new wave of negative ads targeting the Republican front-runner on eminent domain.
”Do you see the negative ads now, all phony ads, those ads are paid for by lobbyists … those ads, they have them on eminent domain, all sorts of stuff,” Trump said during a Tampa, Fla. rally.
Club for Growth Action, a political arm of the Club for Growth announced Friday a 30-second television ad to air in South Carolina. The PAC attacks Trump’s conservative credentials to run for president.
“His record and rhetoric demonstrate that he is a big-government liberal,” the organization’s president David McIntosh told FoxNews.com. He believes their ad shows “Trump is willing to say anything to get elected, just like the politicians that voters are frustrated with.”
Trump defended eminent domain use. “If you don’t have eminent domain, you don’t have roads, highways, by the way, you should be so lucky to get hit with eminent domain because they pay you a fortune”.
But the PAC is hitting the businessman’s use of the practice. “There’s nothing conservative about abusing eminent domain for personal gain,” their new ad explains.
Trump’s GOP rival Texas Sen. Texas Cruz is also hitting him on the issue.
The Cruz campaign has focused on the real estate mogul’s fight with a woman in Atlantic City, NJ. Vera Coking owned a home adjacent to one of Trump’s casinos where the businessman was looking to expand the property. Trump wanted to buy her property, but Coking refused.
In a new TV spot by Cruz, the ad says “public power, private gains … Trump bankrolled politicians to steamroll the little guy, a pattern of sleaze stretching back to decades”.
Trump defended his actions during the case in a Fox News interview last fall.
“I think for eminent domain, massive projects can creative thousands of jobs, you have somebody in the way and you pay that person far more … we had one house in the way … she was offered four, five, six times what her house was worth”.
After a legal battle, Coking was able to avoid selling her home to make way for the project.
Trump added, “if she is in the way of a massive hotel expansion that would employ 2,000 people … when ultimately that went away, her house sold for a tiny fraction”.
Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox.