GOP frontrunner Donald Trump said that fellow GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) birthplace would be a “very precarious” problem if Cruz were chosen as the Republican nominee, as he was born in Canada, according to the Washington Post.
“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” the frontrunner questioned. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans, because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”
“I’d hate to see something like that get in his way,” Trump added. “But a lot of people are talking about it, and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”
Cruz responded on Twitter to Trump’s comment “referring to an iconic episode of the sitcom “Happy Days,” in which the character Fonzie jumps over a shark on waterskis,” according to the Post. “The image has become a symbol something shopworn and overdone.”
Trump made his comments during an interview on Monday with the Post, defending his statement about Cruz’s birthplace as a “candid assessment of his leading opponent rather than initiating personal attack.”
Trump said he wasn’t using the “birther” charge against Cruz, with which he had once challenged President Obama, questioning whether or not Obama was born in Hawaii.
“People are bringing it up,” Trump said, referencing talk of Cruz’s birthplace.
According to the Post, Trump has gone back and forth about whether or not Cruz’s citizenship is questionable.
The Post reports:
In an interview with ABC News in September, Trump said he did not think Cruz’s birthplace was an issue. ‘I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape,’ he said.
But months earlier in Iowa, Trump told reporters that it could be a ‘difficult problem.’
‘He’s a friend of mine. I have great respect for him…. certainly it’s a stumbling block and he’s going to have to have it solved before he goes too far,’ Trump said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In order to become President of the United States, one must be a natural born citizen. Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother was a U.S. citizen, which Cruz has argued makes him a U.S. citizen.
“Legal scholars agree that Cruz meets the Constitution’s natural-born citizenship requirement, though it is untested in the courts,” notes the Post.