Ted Cruz downplays Donald Trump's concerns over Cruz's Canadian birth

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa - Ted Cruz tried to make a joke Tuesday out of Republican presidential rival Donald Trump raising questions about whether the Texas senator's birth in Canada could be a liability if he becomes the GOP's nominee.

See Full Article

Trump told the Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday that Cruz's Canadian birthplace and his holding a double passport was a "very precarious" issue that "a lot of people are talking about." Trump has ramped up his attacks on Cruz since the Texas senator sprinted ahead of the billionaire businessman in some opinion surveys in early-voting Iowa.

Cruz, in response to questions about Trump's comments, said the best way to respond was to laugh it off and "move on to the issues that matter." He first reacted on Twitter, posting a link to a video from the 1970s television show "Happy Days" showing the character Fonzie water skiing over a shark. The moment, known as "jumping the shark," has come to refer to the use of a gimmick to halt the decline of a television show or other effort.

"What the American people are interested in is not bickering and back and forth," Cruz told reporters before a town hall in Sioux Center that drew hundreds of people. Cruz was concluding the second day of a six-day swing through Iowa before the Feb. 1 caucuses, while Trump was holding a rally in New Hampshire.

The U.S. Constitution says only a "natural born Citizen" may be president. Legal scholars, however, generally agree the description covers foreign-born children of U.S. parents.

Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970 while his parents were working in the oil business there. His mother, Eleanor, is from Delaware, while his father, Rafael, is a Cuban who became a U.S. citizen in 2005. Cruz has said that because his mother is a citizen by birth, he is also one. Under U.S. law, anyone born to a U.S. citizen is granted citizenship no matter where the birth takes place.

Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014, amid speculation he was preparing for a presidential run, less than a year after he his birth certificate.

But that didn't stop Trump from raising the issue Tuesday.

"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 in The Washington Post interview. "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."

Trump was one of the loudest voices questioning whether President Obama was born in Kenya and thus not eligible to be U.S. president. Obama is an American citizen; his father was Kenyan, his mother American.

Previous foreign-born Americans - notably Republicans John McCain and George Romney - have run for president with some mention, but no serious challenges, of their eligibility.

The comments mark a reversal for Trump, who in September downplayed Cruz's birthplace in an interview with ABC.

"I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape," he told the network then.

But Trump has been ratcheting up his attacks on Cruz in recent weeks.

Trump first unleashed a verbal assault on Cruz in December at an event in Des Moines where he questioned Cruz's evangelical faith.

"I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba," he said of the country where Cruz's father, an evangelical preacher, was born.

Trump didn't mention the issue or Cruz by name at a rally in Claremont, New Hampshire on Tuesday evening, but did accuse him of stealing his plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

"Then the other day I head for the first time, a nice guy, so I'm not going to mention it, but one of the candidates said, 'And we'll build a wall,"' said Trump. "I said what?"

"Shouldn't he give me some credit?" he asked, returning to the issue. "Politicians do not give credit. I've just learned that over the last few months."

Trump then vowed that his wall would be built better, bigger, stronger and cheaper.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Widow of avalanche victim sues guides, lodge operator for negligence

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - The widow of an Alberta man who died in an avalanche near Golden, B.C., is suing the guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence. Douglas and Sheila Churchill were among 13 people skiing in the backcountry, about 50 kilometres northwest of Golden, when a large avalanche struck in February 2016. Source
  • Storm causes disruptions across New Zealand

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Mudslides blocked the only road to a small New Zealand town Wednesday after a powerful Pacific storm caused disruptions across parts of the country. The 1,000 tourists and 5,000 locals in Takaka are not entirely trapped, but would have to use a boat, helicopter or small plane to leave town now or wait a week or more before the road is cleared and repaired. Source
  • Canada welcomes release of final text of CPTPP deal

    Canada News CBC News
    The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of the Asia-Pacific's fastest-growing economies was released on Wednesday, signalling the pact was a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States. Source
  • Quebec man pleads guilty to importing cocaine into Australia

    Canada News CTV News
    One of three Quebecers charged with importing a large amount of cocaine into Australia in 2016 has pleaded guilty. New South Wales District Court spokeswoman Felicia Benedikovics says Andre Tamine pleaded guilty last Friday to importing cocaine in commercial quantities and will be sentenced on Oct. Source
  • Roof of community arena collapses in Calgary neighbourhood, nobody hurt

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - No one was hurt when the roof of a small arena collapsed in a Calgary neighbourhood. The failure of the roof at the Fairview Community Centre Tuesday afternoon came only a day after the building was evacuated due to concerns about its structural integrity. Source
  • Japan sees transfer at sea that may violate North Korea sanctions

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- Japan's military has witnessed a ship-to-ship transfer on the high seas that it "strongly suspects" violates U.N. sanctions on North Korea, in the third such incident reported by Japan in the past month. Source
  • North Korea calls off meeting with Mike Pence 'at the last minute,' White House says

    World News CBC News
    U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence was all set to hold a history-making meeting with North Korean officials during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Kim Jong-un's government cancelled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday. Source
  • 'We aren't politicians, but we have voices': Shooting survivors push lawmakers on gun laws

    World News CTV News
    A group of students who survived a massacre at their Florida high school is optimistic that their anti-gun message will be heard by the state’s Republican politicians. A busload of students headed to Tallahassee Tuesday in hopes of pushing legislators to adopt stricter gun control laws in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty members were killed last Wednesday. Source
  • Week of reckoning on White House aides' access to secrets

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- It's a week of reckoning for White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and dozens of other officials who have been working without permanent security clearances for the better part of a year. Those who have been operating with interim access to top secret information since before June are set to see that access halted Friday under a new policy enacted last week by chief of staff John Kelly. Source
  • Patrick Brown accused of 'dirty and crooked politics' as Ontario MPP calls for investigation

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario Conservative MPP Randy Hillier is calling for a "significant" investigation into Patrick Brown's personal finances over allegations the former Tory leader engaged in "dirty and crooked politics" that breached the province's ethics rules. Hillier, who is supporting former MPP Christine Elliott in the PC leadership race, filed a complaint with Ontario's integrity commissioner Tuesday afternoon, citing that he has "reasonable grounds" to believe Brown violated the Members' Integrity Act by…