Sen. Ted Cruz is Wrong About Donald Trump, an Article II “Natural Born Citizen”

Sen. Ted Cruz is Wrong. Donald J. Trump is an Article II “Natural Born Citizen”

Natural Born Citizen

During last night’s Fox Business GOP Debate, Sen. Ted Cruz was ready for Donald Trump to continue to question his eligibility to hold the office of President of the United States because the Texas senator is not an Article II “natural born citizen.” Here is the exchange:

At the end of the day, the legal issue is quite straightforward, but I would note that the birther theories that Donald has been relying on — some of the more extreme ones insist that you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil(emphasis mine)
Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified and, interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified.
(UNKNOWN): Not me.
CRUZ: Because — because Donald’s mother was born in Scotland. She was naturalized. Now, Donald…
TRUMP: But I was born here.
CRUZ: … on the issue — on the issue of citizenship, Donald…
TRUMP: (inaudible). Big difference.
CRUZ: … on the issue of citizenship, Donald, I’m not going to use your mother’s birth against you.
TRUMP: OK, good. Because it wouldn’t work.

As most of you know, for several years I have declared repeatedly here and on The Teri O’Brien Show that I believe that the Founders intended the term “natural born citizen” to mean a person (1) born on American soil to (2) two people who were citizens at the time of that person’s birth, a test often shortened to “soil and blood.” I am unaware of any commentator–and if you are, please enlighten me–who says that a natural born citizen’s parents must be American citizens their entire lives, as in the parents also must be born on American soil. That’s too extreme even for me.

Donald Trump’s mother was indeed born in Scotland, but she became a naturalized American citizen on March 10, 1942, 4 years before the current presidential candidate was born.

So, nice try, Sen. Cruz, but I think you’re being too clever by half here. I think you are a terrific senator, a brilliant attorney, and an eloquent spokesman for conservatism, but I don’t think that you are an Article II “natural born citizen.” Just one woman’s opinion.

It’s interesting to me to see this whole issue arise because it seems to me that back in the day, it was well understood by everyone that if a person wasn’t born on American soil, he was not eligible to be president. It was a given. It was unquestioned. Sen. Cruz talks about Mitt Romney’s dad being born in Mexico, but he actually never became president, so no one had standing to sue to challenge his eligibility. Have we become so dumbed down that many today don’t know the things that most of us learned in middle school civics? Has Barack Obama’s lawlessness numbed everyone to the importance of the rule of law and adherence to our precious Constitution?

As for McCain, the issue was significant enough to cause the Senate to pass a non-binding resolution in 2008 stating that he was eligible. Since the Arizona senator was born on in the Panama Canal zone in 1936, on a military base, he was not born on American soil (no, military bases are not American soil). Those who argue that he became a “natural born citizen” retroactively by  8 U.S.C. § 1403, a statute which became law in 1937, retroactively conferred citizenship on individuals born within the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and on individuals born in the Republic of Panama on or after that date who had at least one U.S. citizen parent employed by the U.S. government or the Panama Railway Company obviously accept the theory that a “natural born citizen” is anyone who does not have to go through naturalization. That’s definitely an argument one can make. It’s the same one being made by Sen. Cruz.

There is no definitive answer as of this writing. Many other informative links here.

What say you?


  1. If your mother is a citizen, you are a citizen. It doesn’t matter where you’re born. Otherwise every American on vacation who happens to give birth someplace else, or every military family stationed overseas, wouldn’t have American kids. That’s ridiculous, and not at all what the Constitution requires.

    • American citizen and Art II “natural born citizen” aren’t the same thing, so while I don’t disagree with you, your comment doesn’t address the actual issue at hand.

  2. As for being a “birther,” as I have said for over 7 years, I am not a “birther.” I am an “Article II-er.” I think that the term “birther” is another Aliskyite slur cooked up by Obama Kool-Aid drinkers who couldn’t tolerate any questions about the shadowy background of their ridiculous messiah. It’s like “tea bagger,” a derogatory term designed to silence opposition, and not embraced by serious legal analysts, but rather low-IQ types like Chris Matthews. And where exactly is the “liberal” part?

  3. It doesn’t look like you’ve read the extensive commentary I have written on this issue. You should. You might learn something.

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