Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said Wednesday in a radio interview that he would file a lawsuit challenging Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential candidacy if he won the Republican nomination because Cruz was born in Canada.
Grayson made the comment while discussing Cruz’s rise in recent polls during an interview with Fox News’ Alan Colmes. Grayson said Cruz was “technically not an American,” according to a transcript, to which Colmes noted that “like Obama” Cruz’s mother was born in the United States.
“It’s interesting to me that the people who had a problem with Obama’s
birth certificate don’t have a problem with Ted Cruz who literally was
born in another country and renounced his Canadian citizenry,” Colmes said, according to the transcript.
“I don’t know, the Constitution says natural born Americans, so now we’re
counting Canadians as natural born Americans? How does that work?” Grayson responded. “I’m waiting for the moment that he gets the nomination and then I will file that beautiful lawsuit saying that he’s unqualified for the job because
he’s in eligible [sic].”
According to a 2011 Congressional Research Service report, when determining presidential eligibility the term “natural born” citizen most likely includes “those born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent who, prior to the birth, had met the requirements of federal law for physical presence in the country.” That definition covers Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1970 to a Cuban-born father and American-born mother.
Yet some people in so-called “strict constitutionalist” circles still reject that definition of “natural born” citizen. Cruz’s campaign dismissed that kind of “birther” chatter earlier this year, telling TPM that “Senator Cruz has not spent a single moment on this earth where he was not an America citizen, indeed a natural born American citizen because his mother was and is an American.”