John McCain goes ‘birther’ on Ted ‘Calgary’ Cruz

Screenshot-16Donald Trump was the poster child for the Obama “birtherism” movement a few years ago until President Obama handed his ass to him at the White House Correspondents Dinner, President Obama Roasts Donald Trump At White House Correspondents Dinner, in one of the most perfect take downs evah!

Trump draws his support from the Tea Party and far-right fringe devotees of conspiracy web sites like Alex Jones’ Info Wars, and World Net Daily.  The “birthers” are still out there. Trump Supporters Think Obama is A Muslim Born in Another Country.

Which is why I like to tweak these ignoramuses by going after Senator Ted “Calgary” Cruz (R-TX) who was born in Calgary, Canada and who maintained his dual citizenship until last year.

It was only a matter of time until “The Donald” returned to his birther roots that made him a star of the right-wing media. Donald Trump Goes ‘Birther’ On Ted Cruz.

“Calgary” thought that he was prepared for this anticipated attack. But this “whacko bird,” the most hated senator in the U.S. Senate, was not ready.

Senator Aqua Buddha, Rand Paul (is he still running?), riffed off of Trump’s birther attacks on Cruz: “You know, I think without question he is qualified and would make the cut to be prime minister of Canada, absolutely without question, he is qualified and he meets the qualifications,” Paul told Fox News Wednesday.

But it was Arizona’s angry old man, John McCain, who twisted the knife into Ted “Calgary” Cruz. McCain knifes Cruz: Um, I don’t know if he’s a natural-born citizen; John McCain: Ted Cruz’s presidential eligibility a ‘legitimate question’; John McCain’s cold-blooded revenge on Ted Cruz:

John McCain proved the power of revenge on Wednesday night when asked about his longtime nemesis Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president, despite being born in Canada.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” McCain said on the “Chris Merrill Show” on Wednesday. “I know it came up in my race because I was born in Panama, but I was born in the Canal Zone, which is a territory. Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was a territory when he ran in 1964.”

Boom goes the dynamite.

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It’s no secret that Cruz is hated by McCain and lots and lots of the Washington establishment.

What has been less clear is how the GOP establishment’s white-hot hatred for Cruz could manifest itself in the Republican presidential primary. This is how.

By McCain giving a “you know, that’s a good question” response to the question of whether Cruz is eligible to be president, he keeps the story — not a good one for the Texas senator — very much alive.

Now, the media narrative becomes that it’s not just Donald Trump saying things because (a) he’s Donald Trump and (b) it’s in Trump’s political interest to attack Cruz since he trails him in Iowa. It’s the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who, oh by the way, went through a very real back and forth over his own eligibility to run back then.

What it really shows is how feckless the Beltway media is. The media has been giving Donald Trump an unfair amount of free air time, and are being played. Donald Trump plays the media like a fiddle. This Ted Cruz birther flap proves it.

Amazingly enough, “birther” questions about Ted Cruz’s qualifications for the presidency have suddenly become mainstream in the GOP.

On Wednesday, two leading Republicans — including John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee — questioned whether Cruz’s Canadian birthplace makes him ineligible for the nation’s highest office.

“There is a question,” McCain said in an interview with the Steve Merrill Show (via Andrew Kacyznski of BuzzFeed News), about whether Cruz’s birth “on foreign soil” disqualifies him. “I am not a constitutional scholar on that,” McCain continued. “But I think it’s worth looking into! I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it!”

That same day, Rand Paul — who, of course, is running against Cruz — made similar remarks on another radio show. He said he was “not an expert,” that “people have various opinions,” and that the Supreme Court hasn’t settled the issue. (He also joked that Cruz was “without question” qualified — to be prime minister of Canada.)

As Vox’s Dara Lind explained, the consensus among legal scholars is clear that Cruz is, in fact, perfectly eligible to run (he gained birthright citizenship through his mother, who was a US citizen).

But McCain and Paul are picking up a ball tossed by — who else? — Donald Trump. With just one comment on Tuesday night, Trump has managed to place a fringe, conspiracy theory–esque topic at the center of the political conversation — getting the media and even leading Republicans to dance to his tune, and spreading some old-fashioned xenophobia about the man who’s currently his most dangerous rival.

* * *

Trump knows the power of his words. And he knows the power of injecting a fringe idea into the media bloodstream. Recall that back in 2011, Trump was the highest-profile figure in the “birther” movement, which questioned whether President Obama was truly born in the US. This is what built his popularity among the far right and convinced him he could make a serious run for the presidency.

So it’s no surprise that members of the media would jump on Trump’s insinuation and begin asking every Republican under the sun what he or she thought about it. That’s expected at this point — and, indeed, quite defensible, considering Trump is the top-polling Republican and his positions matter.

Yet time and again, Trump has exploited this dynamic to promote himself and spread sleaze about his opponents. By saying things that go beyond the bounds of normal political discourse, he guarantees that the media (including us!) will cover his hot, outrage-inducing story and dance to his tune.

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The irony, of course, is that Cruz would likely be a far more acceptable nominee for GOP elites than Trump — he’s much closer to them on most major issues, and far less of a loose cannon. So by shivving Cruz, McCain is doing Trump’s work for him.

4 responses to “John McCain goes ‘birther’ on Ted ‘Calgary’ Cruz

  1. The reason for the US citizen requirement is because some of the founder father’s wanted to import some royalty from Europe and set up a king.

    Just a little bit of not so trivia trivia.

  2. captain*arizona

    lawrence tribe said on laurence o’donnell’s show this has been looked into with an eminent constitutional law professor writing a 300 page work with 500 foot notes and his conclusion is it is unsettled law because of the 1795 revision to the 1790 law where natural born citizen was removed from the naturalization law. also later congressional laws are contradictory and don’t have the legal authority that a constitutional article has.

  3. I hate to see this whole stupid concept again. I was embarrassed when Republicans kept using it against Obama because it made no sense. Even if Obama had been born in Africa, his Mother was a U.S. Citizen and by every traditional interpretation of U.S. Immigration Law, he, too, would be considered a U.S. cirizen. The same applies to Ted Cruz. Granted, it has never been tested in the Supreme Court, but given 250 years of precedent, I seriously doubt it will be overturned. If it was overturned, God only knows how many citizens would have to be stripped of their citizenship retroactively. If it established a new precedent and “grandfathered” existing citizens, Obama and Cruz would still be citizens. This is such a stupid thing to do. Leave it to McCain to continue making an ass of himself.

    • “…God only knows how many citizens would have to be stripped of their citizenship retroactively.” This issue has nothing to do with stripping citizenship. It is only about the ability to run for President.
      I’ve been waiting awhile for Trump to raise this, I think his timing is impeccable. Cruz is very worried, and Trump’s suggestion for Cruz to go to court for a declaratory judgment is brilliant. It would keep this issue on the front pages for months.