The “birther” battle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz continued in a back-and-forth exchange between the candidates at the Republican debate, reaching a crescendo as Cruz brought up the front-runner’s mother.
The Texas senator, referring to the many theories his rival candidate has been using to question his eligibility to run for president, said one of the scenarios would disqualify many of the contenders on the platform that night.
“The legal issue is quite straightforward,” Cruz said at the Fox Business Network airing of the Republican debate Thursday. “But I would note that the birther theories that Donald has been relying on, some of the more extreme ones, insist that you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil.
“Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified, and interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified because Donald’s mother was born in Scotland,” Cruz said.
Calling for the focus to be on more important issues, Cruz said he would not be using Trump’s mother’s birth against him. Trump pointed out that Cruz could not do that anyway because it wouldn’t work, as the real-estate mogul was born in the U.S.
Cruz accused Trump of flip-flopping on the issue, apparently because it was not a concern until the senator’s poll numbers began to rise. Ultimately Trump agreed, and said that he did not care until he thought Cruz had a shot, adding that Cruz owed it to the Republican party to be sure there was no question mark hanging over his candidacy.
If “for some reason [Cruz] beats the rest of the field” and became president, Trump said the Democrats would bring a lawsuit against him based on his Canadian birth.
“If this all works out,” Cruz jokingly told Trump, “I’m happy to consider naming you as VP so if you happen to be right, you can get the top job at the end of the day.”
Trump’s response was that he would probably go back to constructing buildings.
Watch the full exchange in the video below.
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