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

  • Girl's actions caused her to fall from NY park ride, police say

    World News CTV News
    QUEENSBURY, N.Y. -- As authorities tried to determine exactly how a 14-year-old Delaware girl managed to fall from a New York amusement park ride, one industry expert said even the strictest safety guidelines won't prevent accidents if customers don't follow the rules. Source
  • Professor who backed black-only Memorial Day celebration on Fox News fired by Essex County College

    World News Toronto Sun
    A mouthy college professor who was fired last week after making a litany of outrageous statements on live TV compared her removal from Essex County College to a “public lynching.” Lisa Durden, a former communications professor at the New Jersey-based institution, was dismissed following a controversial appearance on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight. Source
  • Donald Trump: SCOTUS' travel ban decision 'clear victory' for national security

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court of the United States is letting a limited version of President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries take effect, a victory for Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency. Source
  • Salvador Dali’s bones to be exhumed for paternity test

    World News Toronto Sun
    MADRID — A Spanish judge has ordered the remains of artist Salvador Dali to be exhumed following a paternity suit by a woman. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealist art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. Source
  • Canada and China sign no-hacking agreement to protect trade secrets

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada and China have agreed not to engage in state-sponsored hacking of each other's trade secrets and business information. The two countries reached the agreement during a meeting last week that was part of their new high-level national security dialogue. Source
  • Police in Taber, Alta., treat burning of Pride flag as an arson case

    Canada News CTV News
    TABER, Alta. -- Police in a small southern Alberta town are treating the burning of a rainbow Pride flag as an arson case. Taber Police Chief Graham Abela says someone used fuel to light a flag pole on fire Saturday and the flames spread to the flag. Source
  • Live blog: Final arguments in Saretzky triple murder trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Crown and defence lawyers are making their arguments in the murder trial of a man accused of killing a father, a little girl and a senior. Jurors at the trial of Derek Saretzky have heard weeks of evidence in the deaths of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette, who was 27, and 69-year-old Hanne Meketech in September 2015. Source
  • 'Before tragedy strikes': Liberals launch centre to prevent home-grown terrorism

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government has launched a new centre tasked with preventing the radicalization of Canadian young people. A special adviser will be named in coming months to oversee the local outreach and research projects funded through the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence. Source
  • Cladding manufacturer to stop production of some panels after Grenfell fire

    World News CBC News
    Cladding maker Arconic says it is discontinuing global sales of one type of composite paneling for high-rise buildings in the wake of the devastating fire that killed 79 people at Grenfell Tower. Arconic says in a statement Monday that Reynobond PE would no longer be sold for use in high-rise buildings. Source
  • Canadian woman first to lead Changing of the Guard ceremony

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — A Canadian soldier has made history as the first woman to lead the Changing of the Guard ceremony at London’s Buckingham Palace. Megan Couto led her unit as it changed Queen Elizabeth II’s guards on Monday. Source