In the latest exchange of attacks between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, Trump tweeted a video Tuesday morning showing Cruz flip-flopping on the issue of birthright citizenship.
The premise of birthright citizenship is laid out in the 14th amendment of the Constitution: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.”
The video highlights a stark contrast between Cruz’s support for the policy in 2011 compared to comments he made in 2015, when he claimed that he has been against the policy for many years.
The first part of the video shows an interview with Cruz on The Duke Machado Show while he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2011. He said, “The 14th Amendment provides for birthright citizenship. I have looked at the legal arguments against it and I will tell you, as a Supreme Court litigator, those arguments are not very good. As much as somebody may dislike the policy of birthright citizenship, it is in the Constitution.”
Cruz added: “I think it is a mistake for conservatives to be trying to fight what the Constitution says on birthright citizenship.”
The video tweeted by Trump today also shows Cruz discussing his stance in an interview with AR1.TV last year.
“I think we need to end birthright citizenship,” Cruz said. “As a policy matter, it doesn’t make any sense that we should be incentivizing illegal immigration. There’s no reason that federal law should state that if somebody is here illegally that their children are automatically U.S. citizens.”
He noted that Trump has only recently come out against this policy. “I’ve had that position for many years, back in 2011 when I was running for U.S. Senate," Cruz said.
The video concludes with a slate that says, “Which Cruz Will You Choose?” and “Keep Them Honest” next to a flipping coin.
At the Fox Business debate in South Carolina on Jan. 14, Marco Rubio accused Cruz of flip-flopping on multiple issues including birthright citizenship, though he did not cite a specific video or date.
“You used to say you were in favor of birthright citizenship. Now you say that you are against it,” Rubio said. “That is not consistent conservatism. That is political calculation.”
The video that Trump tweeted was originally on the YouTube channel “Real Americans 4 Real Presidents,” which is not affiliated with the Trump campaign.
Trump and Cruz are in a dead heat just two weeks before the Iowa Caucus, with Cruz polling 3 points above Trump in the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll.