MANCHESTER, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump vigorously defended eminent domain during Saturday’s debate here, saying it is an “absolute necessity.”
Eminent domain is when the government seizes a portion of private property because the seizure is deemed to be for the good of the broader public. Trump cited the Keystone pipeline as an example where the government seizure is necessary.
“Eminent domain is an absolute necessity for a country, for our country,” Trump said. “Without it, you wouldn’t have roads, you wouldn’t have hospitals, you wouldn’t have anything. You wouldn’t have schools, you wouldn’t have bridges. You need eminent domain.”
“And a lot of the big conservatives who tell me how conservative they are … they tell me, Oh, they all want the Keystone pipeline. The Keystone pipeline without eminent domain wouldn’t go 10 feet, O.K.,” he said. “You need eminent domain, and eminent domain is a good thing, not a bad thing.” (VIDEO: Ben Carson Awkwardly Stands Offstage During Debate Introduction)
“And what a lot of people don’t know, because they’ll all say, Oh, they’re going to take their property. When eminent domain is used on somebody’s property, that portion gets a fortune,” Trump continued. “They get at least fair market value, and if they’re smart, they get two or three times the value of their property.”