If Donald Trump had ever bothered to pick up a book by the late great liberal author from Texas, Molly Ivins, he would have had a better answer when Jeb! went after him for his use of eminent domain during this Saturday's debate on ABC.
It shocked me to see Bush using this line of attack personally since I was already well aware of the story about his brother's use of eminent domain and the Texas Rangers, and the fact that the hypocrisy could be thrown right back in his face.
I don't think either one of them came off well here, but I'm more than happy to watch the two of them ripping each other to shreds this issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, a third of them haven't made up their mind yet. And Donald Trump joins us right now.
Welcome back, Mr. Trump.
So what did you think about last night?
TRUMP: I loved it. It was a great debate. We had some fun. I had a great time and I'm very happy with the results. It was terrific.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You did have that back-and-forth with Jeb Bush on eminent domain. And the facts do seem to be on his side.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- let me just explain it first. Vera Coking, you wanted and the Casino Development Authority of New Jersey wanted to take her house to build a parking lot for your casino.
TRUMP: Not a parking lot.
STEPHANOPOULOS: She went to -- She went to court. You fought her for three years and finally the state supreme court ruled and here's what they said.
Trump, not the public, stood to benefit from the proposed seizures and that the deal was analogous to giving Trump a blank check with respect to future development on the property for casino hotel purposes.↓ Story continues below ↓
And you know what I did?
I let the court stand as opposed to going higher up.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it was the state Supreme Court.
TRUMP: But let me -- we could have gone higher. But let me just tell you, George, I decided not to do it. I decided not to pursue it. We could have --
STEPHANOPOULOS: A three-year fight.
TRUMP: -- doesn't matter. We could have gone a different way. I offered her a lot of money. She ended up selling the house for much less money than I offered her.
Eminent domain is a very important thing. Jeb Bush doesn't understand what it means. And if you look into the Bush family -- I found this out five minutes ago. They used eminent domain for the stadium in Texas, where they own, I guess, a piece of the Texas Rangers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That was George W. Bush.
TRUMP: That doesn't matter. It was the Bush family. They used private eminent domain. He didn't tell anybody this. So I mean, he should have told people. Maybe -- he probably doesn't know because I don't even think he knows what eminent domain is. But I just found that out five minutes ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So no second thoughts about your position at all?
TRUMP: Eminent domain is important. You wouldn't have highways, you wouldn’t have roadways, you wouldn’t have bridges, you wouldn’t have hospitals. You wouldn't have anything without it.
The Keystone Pipeline, everybody wants the Keystone Pipeline. If you're a conservative, you want the Keystone Pipeline. They have a whole section on eminent domain. When they write up, the whole thing, on the Keystone. They have a whole section right now --
STEPHANOPOULOS: The crowd wasn't on your side.
TRUMP: The crowd was on my side except they were all friends of mine that were donors and special interests and lobbyists, some of whom worked for me in the past.
It was -- actually, it was a very -- it shows how broken the system is. The people in that audience were the people that were supporting all of the candidates. I'm the only candidate not taking money. I'm not taking money.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You had no supporters in the crowd?
TRUMP: I had supporters. I had 20 tickets. I mean, they gave me 20 tickets.
Hey, George, all of those people in that crowd, 90 percent of them were people that gave to the various candidates and mostly to Bush.
Look, Bush got $128 million. He's nowhere. He spent over $100 million on this failed campaign of his. And he's nowhere. Those people were in the audience. So every time anybody said anything, in fact, Rubio actually said, he said, why does nobody get any response but Bush?
I just think it's really showing the system. When you have somebody like me, where I don't take money, where I'm a self-funder, people really appreciate that. And that's why I brought it out last night. It was a good point, I think. But I brought it out last night.