Trump Goes Birther on Cruz

Within hours of Ted Cruz announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump had gone full birther on him. His argument is patently false, of course, but that’s true of all birther arguments. He thinks it’s as simple as you have to be born in the United States.

Real estate tycoon Donald Trump cast doubt Monday on whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) can run for president, because Cruz was born in Canada.

“It’s a hurdle; somebody could certainly look at it very seriously,” Trump said during a phone interview Monday on My Fox New York.

“He was born in Canada. If you know and when we all studied our history lessons, you are supposed to be born in this country, so I just don’t know how the courts will rule on this.”

If that’s what you studied in your history lessons, you should get your money back from whatever private school you went to. The Constitution says no such thing. It says you have to be a “natural born citizen.” Those born to American citizens overseas are also citizens. And no court is going to rule on this, just like no court ever ruled on Obama’s eligibility. Go ahead and file a suit and see how fast it’s dismissed.

He also claims that Cruz stole his platitude:

Trump claimed he had come up with Cruz’s line about making America great again and questioned whether he should have secured the rights to it ahead of the 2016 campaign.

“The line of ‘Make America great again,’ the phrase, that was mine, I came up with it about a year ago, and I kept using it, and everybody’s now using it, they are all loving it,” Trump said.

“I don’t know I guess I should copyright it, maybe I have copyrighted it.”

Hey, he can’t repeat my tired, empty cliche! I invented that! Yeah, yeah, yeah. I bet you invented air too.

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  • dmcclean

    Funny how what Trump believes are the exact same circumstances only constitute a “hurdle” for Cruz, when he felt they were definitely illegal, outrageous, treasonous, etc. for Obama.

    I guess I will give him partial credit for consistency, C-.

  • dmcclean

    Actually, I’m downgrading that to an F because he supported McCain, the only one of the three for whom you could articulate a plausible definition of “natural born” that he would not meet.

    That also gives us a third data point to plot on our graph of seriousness of Trump’s eligibility concerns against presidential candidate albedo.

  • keithb

    I don’t know. An actual candidate might be able to claim standing since he can claim that Cruz being in the race costs him extra money.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Will the popcorn supply hold out? If it weren’t for the fact that this stuff sort of matters, it’d be almost like a comedy by Voltaire.

  • eric

    One day passes and there’s only one candidate in the primary, and yet the knives are already out. Predictable, but still somewhat annoying/surprising.

  • eric

    it’d be almost like a comedy by Voltaire.

    GOPdide? Conservadide?

  • hoku

    To be fair, since Trump claims to be running for president, he’d actually have standing if he wanted to challenge Cruz on it. I really hope he does, just to get it out of the way.

  • dmcclean

    Apart from the standing issue, do the courts have an subject matter jurisdiction over this? I would’ve thought it would be for the congress to decide when they receive the votes of the electors?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Conservabalism?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Or is this just some ritual to establish positions in the pecker order?

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    But no one has mentioned the Elephant in the Room. Canada isn’t a real country. How can someone be born in a fake country, and still be a real person? Are we sure that Cruz is even real? Can we prove that he isn’t some sort of mass delusion brought on by eating yogurt will beyond its expiration date?

  • gopiballava

    @dmcclean:

    “I would’ve thought it would be for the congress to decide when they receive the votes of the electors?”

    That’s one of the things that annoyed me during the birther FUD. Very little written about things like, who actually *did* verify the birth certificate? Most coverage seemed to be either wingnut birtherism, or total disdain for birtherism. Not much for people who were sane and genuinely curious about how you verify these things.

    (As an aside, I asked one person whether they thought that Obama should have just ticked “long form” on the Hawaii birth certificate request form. When they said yes, I pointed out that the office did not have an option for that, and that what Obama had released was the only document that the office actually issued. No impact on the person’s beliefs.)

  • Childermass

    “Actually, I’m downgrading that to an F because he supported McCain, the only one of the three for whom you could articulate a plausible definition of “natural born” that he would not meet.”

    McCain was born on an American military base that was on what was at the time American territory to parents who where both Americans and was raised in the United States proper. That is about as good of a case as you can get without say being born in what was then and still is United States proper like the president. I dare say, McCain has a far stronger case than Cruz who really was born outside of American jurisdiction. (Of course, Cruz has a strong case to having an American mother. )

  • scienceavenger

    “The line of ‘Make America great again,’ the phrase, that was mine, I came up with it about a year ago, and I kept using it, and everybody’s now using it, they are all loving it,” Trump said.

    So both Trump and Cruz believe America, right now, is not great. Queue the conservative outrage for these haters of America…

    [crickets]

  • colnago80

    Of course, some of the birthers make the claim that natural born means born in the United States with both parents being US citizens. That would eliminate Trump as his mother was not a US citizen at the time of his birth.

  • brucegee1962

    It will be hilarious if the only effect that the Birthers manage to have on this country is to take down a politician who has spent his entire career sucking up to the Tea Party where they make their home.

    I’ll love watching Cruz’s reaction. It’s as if he’s been throwing coal into a furnace for years, and then when he’s on fire, he yells, “How did this thing get so damn hot?”

  • dmcclean

    Childermass,

    Not quite. At the time of his birth, the law was such that he was not a citizen. Slightly before he turned 1, the law was changed so that he would have been, and the change was made retroactive.

    Whether retroactivity can be “natural” seems a reasonable question.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/11/us/politics/11mccain.html?_r=0 for a rundown.

  • tfkreference

    dmcclean@1:

    They would be the “exact same circumstances” only if Obama hadn’t been born in the US.

  • dmcclean

    @tfkreference,

    That’s probably why I wrote “what Trump believes are the exact same circumstances”.

  • busterggi

    If Cruz evolved from Canadians then why are there still Canadians?

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    I wonder when we’ll see a birther theory about Bobby “Anchor Baby” Jindal. Neither of Jindal’s parents were US citizens when he was born, and Jindal himself was apparently conceived in India.

  • tfkreference

    @19 – thanks for clarifying.

  • John Pieret

    Daily Kos points out that Ronald Reagan made “Make America Great Again” a backbone of his campaign, using it on a button, a poster and a TV ad.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/26/1373408/-Trump-Claims-Authorship-Of-Slogan-Make-America-Great-Again-Internet-Face-Palms-Hard#

    Stealing from St. Ronnie is a mortal sin, isn’t it?

  • cptdoom

    Of course, some of the birthers make the claim that natural born means born in the United States with both parents being US citizens. That would eliminate Trump as his mother was not a US citizen at the time of his birth.

    On a totally serious note, Rafael was forced to renounce his dual Canadian citizenship last year when his aspirations for the White House were first forming. I know nothing of the law, but if Trump’s mother was British when he was born, wouldn’t that convey dual citizenship on Donnie too? I had a colleague who was French and German – her parents emigrated to the US and then met/married. She had dual French/US citizenship based on that and used her French passport to travel in Europe, even though the US government apparently does not recognize dual citizenship. Wouldn’t Trump also need to renounce his British citizenship before any alleged run?

  • Chiroptera

    cptdoom, #24:

    As far as I know, a person who has dual citizenship with another country is still eligible to be President of the United States. I think Cruz renounced his dual citizenship mostly to placate the ‘Merica Fursters.

  • sezme

    @24 cptdoom

    My son-in-law is British. Their son was born here in the USA. When they visited Northern Ireland after he was born, they were able to pick up a British passport for him. So he’s dual.

  • dingojack

    busterggi (#20) – because he devolved from Canadians.

    :) Dingo