Donald Trump wants Ted Cruz to go before a judge to “immediately, like tomorrow” to determine whether or not he is a "natural born citizen" and therefore eligible to run for president.
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Trump made the request for Cruz to seek a declaratory judgment from federal court on the issue during an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
Trump cast such a move as “for the good of Ted.”
“You go in seeking the decision of the court without a court case. You go right in. You go before a judge, you do it quickly. Declaratory judgment. It's very good,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “So when there's a doubt -- because there's a doubt. You want the court to rule.”
Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and held dual citizenship. His family moved to the U.S. when he was a young child. In June 2014 he renounced his Canadian citizenship.
On Tuesday, he took to Twitter to take a shot at Trump's comments.
But earlier today on MSNBC, Trump suggested there was still a “cloud” over Cruz.
“It’s a problem for him, and it’s a problem obviously for the Republicans,” Trump said. “Let’s assume he got a nomination and the Democrats bring suit, the suit takes two to three years to solve, so how do you run?”
Trump’s stated doubts seem to differ from his opinion in September when he was asked about Cruz’s eligibility for the White House.
“I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape,” Trump told ABC News at the time.
Today, another GOP candidate, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, also voiced concerns.
“I think without question he is qualified and would make the cut to be prime minister of Canada,” Paul quipped on the radio show Kilmeade and Friends. He continued by claiming he was not “an expert on the natural-born clause in the Constitution” and speculated the Cruz could face litigation over the matter.
Even White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest weighed in today. Alluding to the debate over President Obama’s nationality, Earnest joked that it would be “quite ironic if after 7 or 8 years of drama around the President's birth certificate, if Republican primary voters were to choose Senator Cruz as their nominee, somebody who actually wasn't born in the United States and only 18 months ago renounced his Canadian citizenship.”