Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump argued that fellow candidate Texas Senator has “got this cloud over his head” over his eligibility to be president, and had a Canadian passport while accusing Cruz of being previously for amnesty, and stating that deported illegal immigrants should be allowed to come back, and that he wants “a lot” of immigrants to come back in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Situation Room” on CNN.
Trump said that while he doesn’t “like the issue” and the Washington Post brought the issue up, he doesn’t know if Cruz is eligible to be president. He continued that “you can’t have somebody running, if the Democrats are going to, at some point and one of them threatened to bring a suit a long time ago. … So, how do you run against the Democrat, whoever it may be, and you have this hanging over your head, if they bring a lawsuit? A lawsuit would take two, three years –.”
Trump added that he hopes that Cruz is a natural-born US citizen and doesn’t “want to win on this point, what the democrats are saying though is he had a passport.” Trump further said that Cruz had a Canadian passport.
After anchor Wolf Blitzer pointed out that Cruz and his aides say he didn’t, Trump responded, “I think that’s wonderful if he didn’t, and I never understood how he did, but everybody tells me he had a joint passport.”
Trump further said that if he were Cruz would seek “a declaratory judgement” that he is eligible to be president.
He continued, “If Ted should eke it out, and I hope that doesn’t happen, and he’s got this cloud over his head, I don’t think it’s going to be possible for him to do very well. I don’t think it’s actually possible for the Republicans to let it happen, because he’ll have this cloud. So, what you do is you go in immediately, like tomorrow, this afternoon, you go into federal court, you ask for a declaratory judgment.”
Trump was later asked if he was doing to Cruz what he tried to do with President Obama by questioning where President Obama was born. Trump answered, “Who knows about Obama? … Who cares right now? We’re talking about something else, okay. I mean, I have my own theory on Obama. Some day I’ll write a book. I’ll do another book, it’ll do very successfully. But look, with Ted, he should ask for a declaratory judgment, because that would clear it all up, and I’m doing this for the good of Ted. … This would clear it up. You go into court, you ask for a declaratory judgment. The judge will rule. And once the judge rules that he’s okay, then the Democrats can’t bring a lawsuit later on.”
Trump was then asked about Cruz’s contrast between the two on immigration. Trump stated, “Ted was in favor of amnesty. Him and [Republican presidential candidate Sen.] Marco Rubio (R-FL) have been fighting about who’s weaker. Now all of a sudden — and I was watching Ted the other day, and it was very interesting. He said, and we must build a wall. And my wife said, darling, he just said build a wall. That’s the first person that’s said build a wall, I’ve been saying it for five years. But he said, and we will build a wall. So, now he’s taking my idea for the wall. I’m glad he’s taking it. I think it’s the right thing to do. The problem is, I’ll build the wall, it’ll be a right wall, these people — politicians don’t know how to build walls, they don’t know how to build anything.”
When asked about the specific contrast between him and Cruz on whether or not to let illegal immigrants back in to the US, Trump argued, “Well, I think you should let them come back if they’re very good people, you let them come back legally. I want people to come back. You know, I’m building a wall, but I want people to come in. I want immigrants to come in, but they have to come in legally, and I want a lot of people to come in. I want to have really smart people, really good people, really hard workers come back in, but they have to come in legally. So, I want people to come back into the country.”
Trump further stated Mexico would pay for the border fence “in one of three or four different ways, including I’ll charge them a tariff.” And that if Mexico refused, “then we’ll tax their goods coming this country, and they’ll pay.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett