Once upon a time, early in the GOP primary campaigns, there was a “bromance” of sorts going on between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Neither would criticize the other, and they looked like two men on a similar mission — to win the Republican nomination over the objections of the party establishment. But the love affair has ended in recent weeks, with Trump accusing Cruz of malfeasance in the Iowa caucuses, in which Cruz outperformed his poll numbers, and Trump underperformed. Trump has also been calling Cruz a liar over what he says are distortions of Trump’s positions on various issues.
On February 11 and 12, Trump went on one of his many Twitter tirades, saying that he has “standing to sue him [Cruz] for not being a natural born citizen.” A few days later, Trump turned up the volume, declaring to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he has a lawyer, and that he is “very seriously” considering suing Cruz. Trump tells Stephanopoulos that because Cruz was born in Canada, and “lived there for years,” he doesn’t believe that Cruz is eligible to run for president of the United States.
Trump tried the “birther” card against President Obama, but eventually dropped the issue when he seemed to realize that very few people were paying attention to him. While he might have a bit more of a case against Cruz, who was definitely born outside the U.S., Trump would likely fail in court. The Constitution doesn’t make clear exactly what a “natural born citizen” is, but it has been generally held that you are one if one of your parents is an American citizen. Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware in 1934, so unless Trump can find a judge who is willing to stand precedent on its head, his threatened legal action won’t get very far.
During his phone conversation with Stephanopoulos, Trump also takes time to rip Jeb and George W. Bush, doubling down on his absolutely accurate comment that 9/11 happened on W’s watch, which is setting the GOP in fits. Stephanopoulos also asks Trump if he thinks that W lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Trump deflects that question for the most part, saying he doesn’t know, then returns to 9/11, saying of the hijackers, “Had we had my immigration policies in effect, those people wouldn’t have even been in the country for the most part.”
Here’s Trump, breaking Reagan’s “11th Commandment” (Thou shalt not speak ill of any other Republican) for the umpteenth time:
Featured image via Good Morning America screen capture