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“Calgary Ted”: What Goes Around Comes Around; Trump Shifts His Birther Gaze To Cruz

Who says Donald Trump lacks subtlety? The way he’s raising “birther” questions about his chief rival for the nomination is worthy of Machiavelli.

“I’d hate to see something like that get in his way,” Trump said of the fact that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was born in Canada. Trump referred to the Constitution’s provision that “No Person except a natural born Citizen” — whatever that means — is eligible to be president.

“But a lot of people are talking about it,” Trump continued, in an interview with Post reporters, “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.”

Cruz flatly denied ever having a Canadian passport, telling CNN that this was just one of those “silly sideshows” the media love to engage in. But there is no question that he was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother and a Cuban father. And there is no question that he had Canadian citizenship — before renouncing it in preparation for his presidential run.

Ah, what goes around comes around. For years, the Republican Party had nothing but patronizing nods and winks for the unhinged birthers — Trump included — who claimed, despite definitive proof to the contrary, that President Obama was born in some other country. Now, as party leaders desperately look for a way to deny Trump the nomination, the candidate with the best chance of doing so happens to have been born, without any doubt, in some other country.

Trump still leads the national Republican polls by a mile, while Cruz has pulled ahead of the rest of the field and now stands alone in second place. In first-to-vote Iowa, however, Cruz has taken a narrow lead over the bombastic billionaire and is favored to win. Hence Trump’s sudden concern over the birthplace of a man who perhaps should be nicknamed Calgary Ted.

“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 told The Post. “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.”

Most legal experts agree that Cruz is eligible to run; the fact that his mother was a U.S. citizen means he had citizenship from birth, which would appear to satisfy the “natural born” requirement. But the question of precisely what the Constitution means has never been fully explored by the courts.

The issue came up in 2008 because Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) the GOP nominee, was born in the Panama Canal Zone to parents who were U.S. citizens. The Senate went so far as to pass a nonbinding resolution “recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.”

You’d think McCain might be sympathetic to Cruz’s situation, but did I mention that what goes around comes around? Cruz has gone out of his way to alienate many of his Senate colleagues, and McCain has called him and his allies “wacko birds.” Perhaps that’s why McCain, when asked by a Phoenix television station to comment on Cruz’s eligibility, responded: “I think there is a question. I’m not a constitutional scholar on that, but I think it’s worth looking into.”

McCain noted that the Canal Zone was “a territory of the United States of America” when he was born. And there was a precedent, he argued, since 1964 Republican candidate Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it, too, was a U.S. territory.

Whereas Canada is a whole different country.

I confess that I find the whole flap absurd. Cruz should be deemed unsuitable for the presidency because of his wrongheaded ultra-right-wing views and his dangerous political ruthlessness, not because his American mother happened to be living in Canada when he was born.

But maybe Cruz will have to squirm a bit. A lawsuit has been filed in Vermont to keep him off the ballot there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if suits were filed in other states as well. Somehow I doubt he’ll get the same moral support from his fellow senators that McCain was given.

Has the party of Lincoln really come to this, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? The two men still insist that they like each other, their campaign-long bromance not extinguished. I’m reminded of something Machiavelli didn’t say but should have: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

 

By: Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, January 7, 2016

January 10, 2016 Posted by | Birthers, Birthright Citizenship, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“His Hated Foe Might Not Be A U.S. Citizen”: Donald Trump Goes Birther Again — This Time On Ted Cruz

Well, well, Donald Trump is now having some fun with his new main rival, Ted Cruz. And this new line of attack against Cruz is actually an old line of attack for Trump, one he used to great effect against a certain somebody else. Trump is once again alleging that his hated foe might not really be an eligible U.S. citizen.

Remember that Trump practically built his political following back in 2010 and 2011 by promulgating all manner of conspiracy theories about President Obama’s birthplace. So it only makes sense that he could really have a ball against a candidate who was actually born in another country.

Cruz was born in the Canadian province of Alberta. In 2014, he legally renounced his dual citizenship in Canada — after the very fact of his having it had taken him somewhat by surprise.

The Washington Post reports:

“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.”

And just to up the ante here, Trump seemingly invoked the language of protection rackets:

Trump added, “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.”

Shorter message from Trump to Cruz: That’s a nice American identity you’ve got there — would sure be a shame if something happened to it.

For his part, Cruz has responded via Twitter — by invoking the classic “Jump the Shark” scene from Happy Days.

My response to @realDonaldTrump calling into question my natural-born citizenship? https://t.co/gWfAHznlCY

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 5, 2016

 

By: Eric Kleefeld, The National Memo, January 5, 2015

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Birthers, Birthright Citizenship, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz | , , , , | Leave a comment

“Not All Birthers Are The Same”: No, Ted Cruz ‘Birthers’ Are Not The Same As Obama Birthers

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday released his birth certificate, seeking to put to rest questions about whether the Canadian-born senator is qualified to run for president in 2016.

Immediately, parallels were drawn to President Obama’s 2011 release of his own birth certificate, which also was meant to end lingering questions about his eligibility to be president.

And for the few in the birther community, they see hypocrisy. Why are the media not denouncing those who question Cruz’s eligibility in the same way they have denounced the so-called “birthers” who continue to question Obama’s?

The reason? Because about the only thing these two situations have in common is that they involve a birth certificate and a presidential candidate.

Questions about Cruz’s eligibility have everything to do with interpretation of the law; the questions about Obama’s eligibility had everything to do with a dispute over the underlying facts — more specifically, conspiracy theories about whether the president was actually born in the United States, as he claimed, and whether he somehow forged a birth certificate that said he was born in Hawaii.

In Cruz’s case, nobody is disputing the underlying facts of the case — that Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban father and a mother who was a United States citizen. As we wrote back in March, that makes him a U.S. citizen himself, but it’s not 100 percent clear that that is the same thing as a “natural born citizen” — the requirement for becoming president.

Most scholars think it’s the same thing, and the Congressional Research Service said in 2011 that someone like Cruz “most likely” qualifies to run for president. But to this point, there is no final word from the courts, because while foreign-born candidates have run — including George Romney and John McCain — none of them has actually won and had his eligibility challenged.

Obama was also born to a mother who was a U.S. citizen, meaning if he was in fact born outside the United States, the situations might be parallel. But birthers weren’t making a legal argument about Obama; they were arguing the facts about where he was born and accusing him of perpetrating a massive fraud.

Some will accuse the media of instituting a double standard when it comes to these two cases because Cruz is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat. But nobody is accusing Cruz of lying about his past as part of a vast conspiracy to become president.

It’s just not an apples-to-apples comparison.

By: Aaron Blake, The Washington Post, August 19, 2013

August 20, 2013 Posted by | Birthers, Conspiracy Theories | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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