Trump presses Cruz on Canadian birth in GOP debate

WASHINGTON -- Candidates in American presidential debates have often had to fend off accusations they're too liberal, too conservative, too wishy-washy or simply wrong-headed.

See Full Article

One has now been forced to parry the calumny that he's too Canadian.

Sen. Ted Cruz responded indignantly upon being pressed on his Calgary birth -- by both his emerging rival Donald Trump and by the moderators of Thursday's Republican debate.

"I've spent my entire life defending the Constitution before the U.S. Supreme Court," said Cruz, who is running neck-and-neck with the real-estate mogul in Iowa.

"And I tell you, I'm not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump."

The partisan crowd appeared to back him up -- cheering the Texas senator and booing when the debate moderator and Trump dabbled in the country-of-origin quandary.

Trump fired back that multiple constitutional scholars have raised Cruz's birth as a legal question mark -- one being Cruz's former Ivy League law professor, Laurence Tribe.

"Take it from your professor," Trump retorted.

He urged Cruz to go get a judge's opinion certifying his right to run, lest he later become the nominee and find his candidacy tangled up in court: "There's a big question mark over the head. And you can't do that to the party."

The U.S. Constitution restricts the right to run for president to "natural-born" citizens, without specifying what that means. Most of the contemporary political class assumes that is to shield the foreign-born children of Americans, like Cruz.

But several constitutional scholars have emerged to call it a legitimate question. They say the Supreme Court has never ruled on the definition of a natural-born citizen for the purposes of seeking the presidency.

Cruz replied that Tribe is a committed Democrat. He also pointed out that his increasingly bitter adversary has only suddenly started raising the birth issue, because his poll numbers are improving in Iowa. Trump admitted it.

Cruz's critics have revelled in teasing him about the fact that he was born outside the U.S. His American mother and Cuban-American father were working in the Alberta oil industry and he spent his first few years there.

Some pranksters edited his Wikipedia page Thursday to point out his Canadian birth. A lawsuit against Cruz's candidacy has already been launched, and more are expected.

Tribe says he believes Cruz should qualify -- only because Tribe personally favours a flexible approach to interpreting the Constitution, one that evolves over the centuries.

But he notes an irony: Cruz himself sees the Constitution differently.

He's a strict originalist who believes the Constitution should be interpreted exactly as written -- which means, according to Cruz's view, that the 18th century right to bear arms for the purposes of a militia should extend to all 21st-century U.S. citizens and include new forms of high-powered weaponry.

"To his kind of judge, Cruz ironically wouldn't be eligible," the Harvard professor wrote in the Boston Globe.

"Because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and '90s required that someone actually be born on U.S. soil to be a 'natural born' citizen."

When Cruz pointed out that his former professor was a Democrat, Trump replied that several other scholars have voiced similar concerns. Cruz recently relinquished his Canadian citizenship, which he received at birth.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Rudy Giuliani joining Trump's Russia probe legal team

    World News CBC News
    ?Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a one-time federal prosecutor, is joining U.S. President Donald Trump's personal legal team, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a statement on Thursday. "Rudy is great. He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country," Sekulow quoted Trump as saying. Source
  • Rudy Giuliani to join Trump legal team in Russia probe

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining the legal team defending U.S. President Donald Trump in the special counsel's Russia investigation. That's according to a statement from Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow. Source
  • 8,000 Disneyland tickets worth about $800K stolen from youth group

    World News CTV News
    GALT, Calif. - Thieves made off with eight-thousand Disneyland tickets worth about 800-thousand dollars when they stole a box trailer from a youth agricultural education organization. The tickets were to have been distributed to participants at a conference in Southern California. Source
  • Edmonton police charge youth in sex trafficking case involving girl

    Canada News CTV News
    Edmonton police have laid human-trafficking charges against a youth accused of sexually exploiting a girl. Police say the youth met the girl at a mall and spent time with her for a month, showering her with expensive gifts. Source
  • Doug Ford says his company would benefit 'probably very little' from his own tax cut

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's Progressive Conservative leader acknowledged Thursday that his company would benefit, although "probably very little," from his proposal to cut corporate taxes, but said he would not personally stand to gain anything. Doug Ford, a businessman and former Toronto city councillor whose family owns and operates Deco Labels and Tags, has promised to cut the provincial corporate tax by one percentage point if the Tories are elected to power this spring. Source
  • Prominent Nunavut businessman faces $1.2M sex assault judgment

    Canada News CTV News
    IQALUIT, Nunavut -- A prominent Nunavut businessman has been ordered to pay $1.2 million in damages for almost 20 years of sexual assaults on four children. There's no guarantee that the victims of Ike Haulli will see any money, despite repeated abuse inflicted over years. Source
  • Hundreds apply to see or block the opening of adoption records in New Brunswick

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- Just weeks after the New Brunswick government opened a century of adoption records there is growing interest from people who want to know more about their past, and those who want that information kept secret. Source
  • Quebec City mosque leadership takes stand at shooter's sentencing hearing

    Canada News CTV News
    QUEBEC -- The head of a Quebec City mosque where six worshippers were gunned down addressed the author of the rampage directly in court Thursday and pointedly asked him why he committed the crimes. "Why? Why?," said Boufeldja Benabdallah, his eyes trained on killer Alexandre Bissonnette as he testified at his sentencing arguments. Source
  • 'People refer to us as Switzerland': King of Swaziland changes country's name

    World News CBC News
    Swaziland's King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, said Thursday he was officially renaming the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini. He announced the change to eSwatini, meaning "land of the Swazis," in the local Swati language at Golden Jubilee celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence and of his 50th birthday. Source
  • Dash cam video captured by Manitoba courier sparks concerns about crosswalk safety

    Canada News CTV News
    When a woman was having trouble crossing a busy intersection in Selkirk, Manitoba, Rick Ritchie’s dash cam was there to capture every second. The video shows the pedestrian waiting on the side of the road as cars continue to speed through the marked crosswalk. Source