Trump Hints He’ll Take up Cruz Citizenship Issue in Debate
Donald Trump has reignited the birther movement, accusing Ted Cruz of being illegitimate to run for president.
Talking to CNN, Trump suggested that he would strike Cruz hard over his birthplace and make it a focal point of his campaign.
“I’m sure we’ll get into it tomorrow night,” Trump told a crowd of 11,000 supporters in Pensacola, Florida.
Cruz fired back on Wednesday, calling Trump out for focusing on this issue when it became opportune.
“You know it’s interesting, this issue did not seem to concern Donald until a little over a week ago when suddenly he was trailing in the polls in Iowa,” Cruz told reporters in South Carolina on Wednesday.
Cruz in recent days has insisted that his birthplace does not preclude him from meeting the constitutional requirement of being a “natural-born citizen” in order to be president.
Cruz was born in Canada, but was automatically granted American citizenship by birth because his mother was an American citizen — which most legal scholars contend meets the “natural-born citizen” requirement. The question has never been tested in court.
Cruz said it’s obvious his candidacy is making Trump nervous.
“And I understand, Mr. Trump and other candidates in the race being disturbed that candidates are coming together and when they’re disturbed they try to raise whatever attacks that can,” Cruz said.
Trump has reiterated his concerns that if Republicans were to nominate Cruz he would face legal scrutiny in interviews and rallies this week.
“Supposing he runs and everybody ‘s banking on him and then the courts rule he can’t run. What do you do?” Trump asked. “Concede the election to Hillary or crazy Bernie?”
On Tuesday, Cruz sought to undermine Trump among GOP voters by saying that Trump embodies “New York values” that at odds with conservative ones.
“He’s been getting a little testy,” Trump noted of Cruz at his Wednesday night rally.
A poll out this week from the Des Moines Register showed Cruz with a 3 point lead over Trump, the latest in a series that shows Trump’s once dominant lead slipping.
Photo credit: Buzztache.