After enduring years of Republicans questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s presidency, at least one Democrat says he’ll file suit against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s right to run for the nation’s highest office, if Cruz becomes the nominee.
Cruz, an ultra-conservative, religious right candidate, is rising in the polls. He’s now in a dead heat with Donald Trump among Iowa Republicans.
A number of Republicans, particularly those associated with the party’s tea party wing, have never accepted Obama’s status as a natural-born American. Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and an African father.
So-called “birthers,” including Trump, have created elaborate conspiracy theories claiming Obama was secretly born in Kenya. The birther movement contends Obama’s parents created counterfeit documents making it appear that he was born in Hawaii so that he could run for president when he grew up.
Many birthers believe the circumstances surrounding Obama’s birth were part of a scheme to plant him as a “Manchurian candidate” who would take his marching orders from the Muslim world.
Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. He held dual citizenship until 2014, when he renounced his Canadian citizenship.
The U.S. Supreme Court has never clarified whether someone with Cruz’s heritage meets presidential eligibility muster. But New Hampshire election officials rejected arguments that Cruz is unqualified to appear on the ballot there.
In an interview with Fox News radio’s Alan Colmes, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, said he plans to file suit against Cruz’s eligibility if he wins the GOP nomination.
“He’s technically not even an American,” Grayson said.
Colmes, a liberal, didn’t disagree, suggesting it’s hypocritical of Republicans to have a problem with Obama’s birth certificate while Cruz was “literally born in another country.”
Under Title 8 rules, if a person is born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its territories to parents that include an alien and a U.S. citizen, that person is eligible for the presidency — but only if the natural-born parent was “physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of 14.”
Because the law is vague, Congress passed a resolution in 2008 stating that John McCain, who was born in Panama to a military family on assignment there, was a natural born citizen eligible to run for president.