Ted Cruz downplays Donald Trump's concerns over 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

  • Banff's Sunshine Village clearing out guests as crews tackle nearby wildfire

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - A popular Rocky Mountain resort in Banff National Park is being cleared of guests so that crews can fight a wildfire raging in the nearby backcountry. Sunshine Village, a ski hill on the Alberta-B.C. Source
  • Egyptian who claimed refugee status loses legal fight over terrorist branding

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- An Egyptian man branded as a threat to Canada's national security has failed in what could prove to be his final attempt at lifting the terrorist designation that has hung over him for the past 15 years. Source
  • O.J. Simpson granted parole for Vegas armed robbery [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOVELOCK, Nev. — O.J. Simpson once thrilled crowds as he ran for touchdowns and hurdled airport seats in car rental ads to achieve Hollywood celebrity before he was acquitted of murder in the 1995 “trial of the century” in Los Angeles. Source
  • National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg gets $5M to expand Ebola containment lab

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government is putting millions more into Canada's National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg to help detect high-risk infectious diseases such as Ebola and various types of avian influenza faster. The $5 million will be used to convert current Level 3 containment laboratory space to the "highest level of biosafety," the federal government said in a news release on Thursday. Source
  • Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington dead at 41

    World News CBC News
    Chester Bennington, lead singer of the California rock band Linkin Park, has died at the age of 41, according to the Los Angeles County coroner. Coroner spokesperson Brian Elias said the death is being investigated as an apparent suicide but no additional details were available. Source
  • Trudeau defends his choice for governor general amid revelations about her past

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending his pick for governor general after it was revealed she struck and killed a pedestrian while driving and was once the subject of a criminal probe for assault. Trudeau said Thursday his team did a thorough vet of Julie Payette, a former astronaut who will assume the largely ceremonial post in the fall, and there is nothing in her past that disqualifies her for the job. Source
  • Hunters kill Cecil the lion's son in Zimbabwe

    World News CTV News
    JOHANNESBURG - Conservationists in Zimbabwe say the son of a lion named Cecil, whose 2015 killing prompted an international outcry, has also been fatally shot during a hunt. A group named Friends of Hwange Trust said Thursday on Facebook that 6-year-old Xanda, Cecil's son, was shot on a "legal trophy hunt" several days ago. Source
  • Salvador Dali to be exhumed in paternity lawsuit

    World News Toronto Sun
    FIGUERES, Spain — Salvador Dali’s eccentric artistic and personal biography is taking yet another bizarre turn with the exhumation of his embalmed remains in order to find genetic samples that could settle whether one of the founding figures of surrealism fathered a girl. Source
  • Evacuations after wildfire breaks out on outskirts of Penticton, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    PENTICTON, B.C. -- Multiple homes have been evacuated after a wildfire broke out on the outskirts of Penticton, B.C., this morning. Peter Weeber, chief administrative officer for the city, says the fire started around 9 a.m. Source
  • Two missing Burundi teens reportedly seen crossing into Canada

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. authorities say two of six Burundi teens who were reported missing after an international robotics competition in Washington have been seen crossing the border into Canada. Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown says the whereabouts of their team members is unknown, and that the search for all the teens remains ongoing, but she stresses that police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance. Source