Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Jan. 4 that the Canadian birthplace of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas could become a “very precarious” problem for the GOP if Cruz is the party's presidential nominee.
"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?'" Trump told The Washington Post before a rally in Lowell, Massachusetts. "That’d be a big problem.
"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," he 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."
"My response to [Trump's] calling into question my natural-born citizenship?" Cruz posted to Twitter on Jan. 5 with a link to a clip from a "Happy Days" episode in which Fonzie famously jumps over a shark while water-skiing.
Cruz has been polling well in Iowa, which may explain Trump's "birther" attack, which the billionaire also leveled against President Barack Obama in 2011.
The reality TV star defended his latest comments about Cruz to The Washington Post, saying, "People are bringing it up."
Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, who both served as head of the Office of the Solicitor General, wrote about Cruz and natural-born citizenship in the Harvard Law Review in March 2015:
While the field of candidates for the next presidential election is still taking shape, at least one potential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, was born in a Canadian hospital to a U.S. citizen mother. Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a 'natural born Citizen' within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a 'natural born Citizen' even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.