John McCain: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Cruz Is A ‘Natural Born Citizen’

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 5,2015, before a GOP luncheon. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)
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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Wednesday said he was unsure if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was eligible to be president given that the Texas senator was born in Canada.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” McCain said when asked about Cruz’s citizenship status on KFYI550’s “Chris Merrill Show,” according to audio posted by Buzzfeed News.

Questions about Cruz’s birth place resurfaced this week when Donald Trump expressed skepticism about Cruz’s eligibility to run for president given that the senator was born in Canada to an American mother. Cruz said on Tuesday that it is “settled law that the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen,” making him eligible for the presidency.

McCain noted that the issue of eligibility came up in his 2008 bid for the White House since he was born in Panama. He was born on a military base, which was a U.S. territory, making him eligible to run for president.

“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,” McCain said on Wednesday.

“That’s different from being born on foreign soil so I think there is a question. I am not a Constitutional scholar on that, but I think it’s worth looking into. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it,” the Arizona senator added.

Trump’s comments prompted other conservatives, including Ann Coulter and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), to question Cruz’s eligibility.

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