Donald Trump, who said he wanted to beat Cruz on the issues, now wants to beat him by appealing to the uninformed. Trump once called Ted Cruz’ Canadian birth a non-issue but he is now stepping up attacks on his birth, suggesting Cruz might not be eligible to serve as president.
Only a ‘natural born citizen’ is eligible to serve as President.
In March, 2013, Trump told this to National Review Online:
“I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape,” Trump told ABC News just before speaking at a Capitol Hill rally blasting the Iran nuclear deal…
“I think he’s a really nice guy, I’ve gotten to know him a little bit, but I think if he’s born in Canada it’s a problem no question about it,” he said during an interview at Washington’s iconic Old Post Office, which Trump recently acquired and is transforming into a luxury hotel.
There is no formal definition in the Constitution but the writings of the Framers and statutes by the First Congress clearly show that its intended meaning is both birth abroad to American parent(s) in a manner regulated by federal law and birth within the nation’s territory regardless of parental citizenship. This has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in multiple contexts.
The Harvard Law Review has a detailed explanation on this link. It was Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe along with the the former Solicitor General Ted Olson who researched the issue in 2008 in terms of McCain’s eligibility. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone to American parents.
The Nationality Act of 1940 clearly states that a single American parent who gives birth outside the United States confers automatic citizenship on his/her child.
Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother. His father, of Cuban birth, became a naturalized citizen in 2005. The question is whether or not Cruz can be a ‘natural born Citizen’ having been born in Canada. However, ‘natural-born Citizen’ means a citizen from birth without the requirement of going through the process of naturalization according to most scholarly opinions.
Cruz has used Barry Goldwater (born in Arizona before it was a state), George Romney, Mitt’s father (born in Mexico) and John McCain as having set precedent though they never attained the highest office in the land.
Trump is using the issue to beat Cruz in Iowa where Cruz has a slight lead and in South Carolina where he is closing in. Trump isn’t serious about his concerns, he’s reaching out to conservatives who hold to an inaccurate interpretation of the definition of ‘natural born Citizen.’
It was only last month that Trump told Iowans that Cubans didn’t really have legitimate evangelical credentials, slapping Rubio and Cruz. He cast doubt on Carson’s evangelical credentials when he was a leading candidate.
Trump knows this is a dishonest ploy but it might be effective. It’s so obviously a ploy that its somewhat funny when Trump says:
“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump said when asked about the topic. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”
“I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”
He’s pretending he’s just repeating what others have said.
There is no way this would be a court case. It’s already been decided multiple times.
Rush Limbaugh disapproved of this tactic on the air and said it was a tactic of the left. What do you think? Is this okay? Where is the line?