At the GOP debate on Thursday evening, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is constitutionally ineligible to be president because he is not a natural born citizen, questioned the eligibility of Donald Trump as a natural born citizen. However, all he did was demonstrate that he really doesn’t think the issue is important and that he doesn’t know what he is talking about when it comes to this issue.
“You know, back in September my friend Donald said that he had his lawyers look at this from every which way. And there was no issue there. There was nothing there to this birther issue,” Cruz said. “Now, since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed. But, the poll numbers have. And I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa.”
“But the facts and the law here are really quite clear,” the Cruz continued. “Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. If a soldier has a child abroad that child is a natural born citizen. That’s why John McCain, even though he was born in Panama, was eligible to run for president. If an American missionary has a child abroad that child is a natural born citizen. That’s why George Romney, Mitt’s dad, was eligible to run for president even though he was born in Mexico.”
“At the end of the day, the legal issue is quite straightforward, but I would note that the birther theories, that Donald has been relying on, some of the more extreme ones insist that you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil,” Cruz added. “Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified, an interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified. Because Donald’s mother was born in Scotland. She was naturalized. Now Donald, on the issue of citizenship Donald, I’m not going to use your mother’s birth against you.”
“Because it wouldn’t work,” Trump chimed in.
“You are an American, as is everyone on this stage,” Cruz said without a reference to distinguishing between a citizen and a natural born citizen. “I suggest we focus on who is best prepared to be commander in chief. Because that’s the most important question facing the country.”
Frankly, I have never heard the argument for both parents having to be born on US soil before. The argument is that both parents are citizens and the child is born on the soil.
So, how in the world that would make Trump ineligible doesn’t make sense. Trump’s father was a US citizen and his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, was born in Scotland. The two were married in 1936. However, she became a naturalized citizen in 1942, four years before Donald Trump was born.
Does anyone not remember the testing of Senator John McCain in 2008? He had the same thing applied to him: 2 US citizen parents and born on US soil.
Cruz is right about one thing though, he is ineligible… and so is Marco Rubio… and so is Bobby Jindal.
Ted Cruz keeps mixing things up though. He went from the argument about a natural born citizen to just being an American. Well, let’s see about that. Was Donald Trump’s mother an American? Of course, she was, through naturalization. But she was not a natural born citizen. Are we really to believe that because people are American citizens that makes them natural born citizens? I certainly hope not. Yet, this is exactly the myth that Cruz is peddling and it is beginning to catch up to him.
Trump was given a moment to respond to Cruz’s assertions.
“NBC and Wall Street Journal just came out with a poll. Headline, ‘Trump way up, Cruz going down,'” Trump said, to which the audience booed him.
“And in Iowa, as you know Ted, in the last three polls, I am beating you,” the billionaire real estate mogul added. “So you shouldn’t misrepresent how well you’re doing with the polls. You don’t have to say that. In fact, I was all for you until you started saying it.”
Trump added that if he won the office and selected Cruz as his vice president that Democrats would file a lawsuit.
“I already know the Democrats are going to be bringing a suit,” he said. “You have a big lawsuit over your head while you’re running. And if you become the nominee, who the hell knows if you can even serve in office?”
“Why are you raising this issue now?” Cavuto asked.
“Now, he’s doing a little bit better,” Trump responded. “It’s true!”
Cruz took his chance to respond to the legal allegations.
“Well, listen. I have spent my entire life defending the U.S. Constitution before the U.S. Supreme Court. And I’ll tell you, I’m not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump,” he said.
“You don’t have to! Take it from Laurence Tribe! Take it from your professor,” Trump fired back.
“The chances of any litigation proceeding or succeeding on this are zero,” Cruz insisted. “And I’ll tell you what Donald, you very kindly just a moment ago offered me the VP slot. I’ll tell you what, if this all works out, I am happy to consider you as VP and if you happen to be right you could get the top job at the end of the day.”
Cruz wants to turn off debate about his eligibility because let’s be honest here, it is an important issue because it is a constitutional issue. If one is not eligible constitutionally, then one is not “best prepared to be commander in chief.”
Currently, there is at least one lawsuit against both Cruz and Rubio to block ballot access because they are not natural born citizens. Finally, let me remind you that Cruz has touted his defending of the US Constitution before regarding birthright citizenship, only to turn around and present a different position just a few years later.