The Washington Post (and many other news outlets) are reporting that Donald Trump raised the issue in an interview. While Trump talked about Ted's birth being in Canada and that a legal challenge would get tied up in court for 2 years, he missed the real point. The legal challenge will come if Cruz is nominated, the Democrats have promised that they'll do that. And if it's going to hold up the election, the Supreme Court will surely rush a decision through, just as they did in the Gore v. Bush decision in the 2000 election. But that decision will still come just shortly before the general election and cause all sorts of problems that people are ignoring.
The issue comes down the the Constitutional requirement that a president must be a natural born citizen. While some attorneys say that Cruz is natural born, the fact is that the term has never been defined. Our founding fathers did not define it in the founding documents and until the Supreme Court rules on the definition, we really won't know how it will be constitutionally defined.
People who disregard the seriousness of the issue are missing the point. Many of them point to people like attorney and talk show host Mark Levin, who has said Cruz is a natural born citizen, and therefore eligible. But their opinion doesn't matter. What matters is how the Supreme Court will rule and the ramifications of the decision they make.
The Supreme Court has not been consistent in their decisions. To listen to an attorney who may have a good argument does not mean the court will embrace that argument. The best way to determine what the court will do is to look at their past actions. The current Supreme Court has a pattern of behavior that can give us a guide as to what they will probably do if this is brought to them. What I wrote in November still applies so I'm reposting it here:
Ted Cruz's Big Problem That Could Cause Hillary To Be Our Next President
Here's the Nonsense: Ted Cruz would be the best candidate to go against Hillary in 2016. With his intellect, debate skills, and principled stand on issues he'd be impossible to beat.
Here's the Horse Sense: As good as he is, even with some criticisms he can overcome with most people, Ted Cruz has a problem that could ensure a Hillary Clinton presidency.
America is collapsing. The results of the 2016 election will determine whether we have a chance to turn our country around or if that will be the last election before it's too far gone to save it. To anyone who's done their homework, it is clear that there are only 3 non-establishment GOP candidates that have a real chance at the nomination; Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz. But what do we do if we have a candidate whose nomination would be an almost sure guarantee to give the presidency to Hillary Clinton? Think I'm crazy? There's a serious chance that one of the favorite candidates of conservatives would cause just that to happen if he is nominated. If we know that, should we still support him or choose another candidate that doesn't have the same danger hanging over their head?
After his performance at the last debate, Ted Cruz received a bump both in the polls and fundraising. He's clearly the most solidly conservative candidate running. His ability to take apart someone's argument makes him a favorite of many conservatives.
All that said, there are a number of problems Cruz has that his followers refuse to see, but they are there. Those include:
1.) A lack of any executive experience, having never run anything prior to this run for the presidency. In addition, he's served less than one full term in the Senate before this run. This is exactly what Obama's background was when he ran for the White House in 2008. I have no doubt that this would be something the Democrats will use against him in the general election.
2.) Many who are not big fans of his react to him as being cold and harsh. Some of that is the way he speaks along with how he sounds (his voice is often referred to as nasal sounding and his speech is seen as too intellectual). You may think that's no big deal, but Americans are superficial and judge people on the most unimportant details. How often do you hear someone criticize people based on their appearance and not the substance of their argument?
3.) This may not appear to be a weakness, but it actually is. The GOP candidates were criticized for speaking below a college level at the last debate, with every candidate speaking between a 5th grade and 9th grade level (Trump at the 5th grade level, Cruz at the 9th grade level and everyone else in between), the fact is that anyone who's studied marketing communications and public speaking knows that you should always speak between a 5th grade and 8th grade level to make it easy to understand. That is also the level that accomplishes the most persuasion.
Trump's marketing brilliance includes his understanding to speak at a 5th grade level and thereby assure the understanding of the audience and win more support. Cruz speaking at the 9th grade level, slightly above the 8th grade maximum for most effective persuasion, does make him sound condescending to some people.
Remember, Cruz's greatest strength is winning debates and courtroom arguments. But you don't persuade people by thumping them in a debate or argument. You persuade them by speaking to them in easy to understand terms that empathize with their frustrations and pain.
4.) Another problem for Cruz is his age. He's very young. Now you're probably thinking he's 44 years old and that's 9 years older than he is required to be under the Constitution to be president. But 44 is very young when it comes to life experience. The difference between someone who is 44 versus someone who is 60 or 65 is immense.
When our founders put the requirement to be president at 35 years of age, the average lifespan at birth in America was about 40. Today our average lifespan is about 75. People had to grow up at a different rate in colonial America. 35 was to 40 back then as 65 is to 75 today. Any thinking person wants a president who has a great deal of life experience to draw from when handling the biggest, most difficult, and most important job in the world.
But that's NOT his biggest problem. He probably has a fair chance of overcoming some, if not all of those problems with many voters. His biggest problem, should he be nominated, will come in the legal fight the Democrats will bring regarding his nomination. They will challenge his constitutional eligibility for the presidency and the legal battle will be horrendous.
I'm sure with my saying that I've just lost a bunch of readers, but it's critically important because of what could happen.
Cruz's problem is not the same as it was for President Obama. And what the media and some attorneys have said about the issue is most likely far from what needs to be considered. Don't forget that pundits and talk show hosts, even those who are attorneys, are not the ones the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) goes to when they are considering their decisions.
This is important because of what could happen if Cruz were to win the nomination. We need to remember that Cruz, more than any other candidate, represents to the Democrats a move far to the right politically for America. Progressives have worked for a century to get America as far left as it is today. A Cruz nomination would be fought tooth and nail. It's virtually guaranteed that the Democrats would take it to court challenging his eligibility as a natural born citizen. Don't forget that Hillary Clinton was the first to raise the question of Barack Obama's eligibility in the 2008 campaign so she's fully aware of the issue.
At this point I suspect many of you are saying that I'm just anti-Cruz. The fact is that I was a Cruz supporter before most people even knew he was going to run. But after learning what I'm going to share with you, I didn't feel I could support him any longer. To do so would be heading towards a potential disaster that we can't afford. America is in dire straits and may not survive, even if we do elect a good president.
We need every chance we can get to win this election because I don't believe we're going to have another chance to save this country if we lose in 2016. The politicians in Washington, Democrat and establishment Republican alike, continue to move to take away more of our rights and there's little chance we would still have the same ability to vote for changes in the same way we do now after 2016 if we lose.
Many will say that Cruz has said he's eligible. Some are even saying that some attorneys said it. But the real issue will come down to what SCOTUS says because this has never been ruled on before. The term "natural born" is not defined in our founding documents, and the courts have never dealt with this issue.
America's founders obviously had something special in mind when they used the term "natural born" in their requirement for the presidency. Nowhere else in our founding documents did they have this requirement. So the term "natural born" must be something special. And since that is a requirement in the Constitution in order to be president it would require a SCOTUS ruling to define what the founders meaning was.
We need to remember that it doesn't matter how strongly we believe in our argument regarding the proper definition. What matters is how SCOTUS would rule. If we're honest with ourselves, we've seen this court rule against absolutely solid arguments too many times in the past. Often they rule politically on too many important decisions (i.e.; Obamacare) instead of based on good understanding of the Constitution.
What we need to look at is how they've handled cases in the past when it comes to original intent of the founders.
Recently I was privileged to meet the man who would most likely influence the court's decision more than any other. Rob Natelson is a conservative constitutional scholar that was introduced to me by a friend. We had lunch and talked about many issues, one of which was the eligibility issue.
The reason Natelson is so important to this discussion is that his expertise on constitutional matters has been referred to by this SCOTUS more than any other scholar. Just since 2013 SCOTUS has cited him 17 times in 5 different cases. So the chances are very good that they would look to him again regarding the original intent of the founders on this issue.
As we had lunch, Natelson told me that the founders looked to British law as their example when they were setting up our legal system. That made sense given that they had been British subjects. In an article he wrote for the Tenth Amendment Center, Natelson wrote: "A subject was natural born if he was born in Britain or a British territory or, if born abroad, his father was at the time a loyal subject not engaged in treasonous or felonious activities. Although the American Founders did not require natural-born status for Congress, they did insist that the President have that status. They also imposed a residency requirement of 14 years and a minimum age of 35."
Mr. Natelson explained that what that meant for America is that being natural born was dependent on the child's father (remember, women at that time in history didn't have the same rights as men, so those who argue about both parents having to be citizens aren't considering the culture in which they lived). So, since Ted Cruz's father was not an American citizen when Ted was born, plus the fact that Ted was born in Canada, he would not be considered natural born by the founders definition.
Mr Natelson told me that based on that, he believed Cruz to be ineligible. Given that opinion and his influence with SCOTUS, I would say there is a very big possibility that Cruz would be ruled ineligible.
If this happened during the election it would:
- Throw the GOP into turmoil as they scrambled to replace him as a candidate.
- Raise doubt in the minds of voters who would wonder if any GOP candidate could be trusted after Cruz had been sold to them as a legitimate candidate only to result in a ruling that proved otherwise.
- Republicans would also lose control of the Senate and House as Americans would want to punish them for their deceit.
- And worst of all, it would assure a Hillary Clinton victory in the run for the White House.
The downside if this were to happen would be far greater than choosing to get behind a candidate now that doesn't have that potential problem. Changing now, before the primaries have even begun, would allow Cruz to see he doesn't have the support and he could return to the Senate. We could support him, elect other conservative senators, and fight to replace Mitch McConnell with Ted Cruz. That would secure the Senate in conservative hands and leave us only the House to eventually be moved to conservative leadership by replacing House Speaker Paul "RINO" Ryan.
The issue is not whether Ted Cruz would be a good president.
It's not whether he might have a chance to win this issue in court.
It's whether it's worth the risk during the most critical election year in history to take the chance that we might end up with a candidate who, in the end, is ruled ineligible and the result is a Hillary Clinton presidency.
We have a number of good candidates available to us. We would be better off getting behind someone without the eligibility baggage to be sure that at the last minute we don't lose our last chance to save this nation.