In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, potential 2016 Presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump bashes Jeb Bush’s presidential aspirations.
“The last thing this country needs is another Bush at the helm. I think it’s a big mistake,” Trump told Breitbart News, doubling down and expanding on his criticism of the former governor of Florida. In a Monday evening interview with the Fox Television affiliate in Washington, D.C., Trump said,“[t]he last thing we need is another Bush,” reiterating a criticism of Bush first given to the Daily Mail earlier on Monday.
Jeb Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States. Elected over Michael Dukakis in 1988, he served one term, losing to President Bill Clinton in 1992. Older brother George W. Bush was the 43rd President. Elected in 2000 in a bitterly disputed race with Al Gore, he was re-elected in 2004 when he defeated John Kerry.
Trump mentioned another potential candidate. “I really like Ted Cruz. I have gotten to know him well,” Trump told Breitbart News. “I do think that the one problem he could have is that he was born in Canada and openly admits to that. It does throw his candidacy into question and perhaps the courts will have to decide.”
The possibility that a Cruz candidacy could face a court test of his eligibility is a new twist for Trump. On Monday, Trump told the Daily Mail he assumed Cruz’s Canadian birth was a “problem.”
“Ted Cruz has a problem because he was born in Canada. He admits he was born in Canada, and I assume that’s a problem,” Trump told the Daily Mail. Monday evening, Trump told the Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate, “Ted Cruz says he’s born in Canada. If you say you’re born in another country, in theory, you’re not supposed to be able to run. I think that’s a real obstacle for him.”
Trump’s comments about Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz come one day after the Daily Mail reported that Trump said “there’s a very substantial chance he’ll run [for President] in 2016.”
In his Monday evening interview, Trump was not shy in offering his assessment of other potential 2016 Presidential contenders.
Of Hillary Clinton, Trump said “Know her well. Not going to be as easy as people think for her to get the nomination.”
Of Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA), Trump said she “[h]as really come on strong with her group of people– the liberals. If she runs, she’s going to be a very formidable opponent for Hillary. I think it’s going to be very tough for Hillary. Hillary’s favored, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Of Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee who lost to President Obama, Trump said, “Mitt lost the last time. He should have won. He should not run again.”
Of Vice President Joe Biden, Trump said “I just don’t hear him being mentioned any more. I actually like him as a person. I just don’t hear him being mentioned in this group of people.”
Of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Trump said, “He’s got to get rid of his difficulties. There was a story the other day that continues to go on. He’s a friend of mine. He’s a good guy. And I hope all of that stuff disappears soon.”
Of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Trump said “I know him. I’ve been with him. I like him. He’s got some very common sense positions . And I think he also will be formidable.”
Of Dr. Ben Carson, the recently retired Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon, Trump said, “I think he’s going to do well. He’s got a certain group of people who really swear by him. Smart guy. Good guy. Sit with him a lot and know him. I think he’s a very good guy.”
But Trump’s most favorable assessment was of himself. “I’ve always succeeded at what I’ve wanted to do, and what I really want to do now — more than anything else — is make this country great again,” Trump said.
Trump’s comments on Cruz’s constitutional eligibility for the Presidency are sure to gather attention. A number of legal scholars have concluded that Cruz is likely eligible.
One prominent Constitutional scholar, Georgetown University professor Randy Barnett, has written extensively on the topic and believes Cruz is eligible to run for President. As he wrote in the Washington Post in 2013:
[I]n the United States, if each individual citizen is sovereign, so too are their offspring “natural born citizens.” Because the term “natural born citizen” was invented for use in the Constitution, its public meaning was dictated by theoretical considerations such as these, rather than either by English legal thought or by widespread public usage. This individualist understanding of natural born citizen simply adapts the English usage to American political theory by recognizing the difference in who is the sovereign in each system.
If this is correct, then the term “natural” in “natural born citizen” is not surplusage, and, in the 1790 Naturalization Act, Congress might well have merely been codifying the underlying popular sovereignty conception of natural born citizen as children born to sovereign American citizens.
It is not clear if the question of Cruz’s eligibility, however, will be challenged in a case that could make its way to the Supreme Court.