Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said that “it’s a question” whether Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) Canadian birth makes him ineligible for the presidency and is showing no interest in passing the type of legislation that helped Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) when similar concerns were raised about his birth on a U.S. military base in Panama.
“When Laurence Tribe says it’s a question, it’s a question,” McCaskill told the New York Times, referring to the Harvard Law professor who has been cited by Donald Trump as questioning Cruz’s qualifications as “a natural born citizen.”
Back in 2008 when McCain was running for president, McCaskill introduced legislation to declare citizens like McCain who were born to citizens serving in the U.S. military abroad “natural born citizens,” which is a constitutional requirement to be president.
“My interest in that was my father was military, and I was raised really near a military base, and the notion that someone who was born in another country because his parents were serving in the military — it was offensive to me that they couldn’t be president of the United States,” she said. “That’s why I was so motivated.”
Cruz was born to an American mother in Canada in 1970, which at the time made him automatically a U.S. citizen and many legal experts have said that makes him eligible for the presidency. However, the issue of whether that counts as being a “natural born citizen” has come to the forefront since Trump — Cruz’s chief 2016 rival — began questioning it on the campaign trail.
As TPM reported, the names of Cruz’s parents appeared on a 1974 list of Canadian citizens who were eligible to vote — though that document alone does not prove that his mother was a Canadian citizen for any number of alternative reasons, including potentially human error.