Ted Cruz on Wednesday said his eligibility to become president is “settled law” after Donald Trump warned Republicans that selecting the Canadian-born senator as the party’s presidential nominee could be a liability.
“As a legal matter, the question is quite straightforward and settled law that the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen,” Cruz, a former solicitor general of Texas, told reporters while campaigning in Iowa.
“People will continue to make political noise about it, but as a legal matter it is quite straightforward and I would note that it has occurred many times in history,” Cruz said before citing former presidential candidates like John McCain, George Romney and Barry Goldwater, all of whom faced similar questions about their place of birth.
Trump on Tuesday revived questions about his GOP rival’s Constitutional eligibility to become president, telling the Washington Post it could be a “big problem” for the party to select Cruz.
In an interview that aired on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, Trump said, "I hope that’s not going to be a problem for him," before adding "it’s a problem obviously for the Republicans."
Cruz responded with a tweet of the notorious “Happy Days” scene of Fonzie water skiing over a shark. The moment has become representative of stunts designed solely to get attention.
Asked by reporters late Tuesday about Trump’s remarks and the tweet, Cruz said, "I'm going to stick with Fonzie jumping the shark."
Legal scholars are largely in agreement that Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Canada, to an American mother, is eligible for the White House.
“I think there are serious issues facing the American people, serious issues to be decided in this election, and that is where our focus is going to stay,” Cruz said Wednesday.