In the past, verbal battles between bombastic billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump and weak GOP presidential candidates, like establishment squishes Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush ending up on the short end of the stick.
On Thursday night at the GOP debate hosted by FOX Business, Ted Cruz took the birther movement led by Donald Trump and verbally thumped him over the head with it, embarrassingly obliterating the egotistical Trump in a way he may have never seen before.
Firstly, when narrator Neil Cavuto brought up the birther question, a question he no doubt had to raise due to Trump bringing birtherism to the forefront, the crowd loudly booed in disapproval.
Secondly, Cruz had a Ronald Reagan moment, reminiscent of the famous Reagan-Mondale debate in which Reagan promised to not use Mondale’s “youth and inexperience” against him when Reagan was asked whether his advanced age was an issue in the 1984 election.
Cruz brilliantly pointed out — to the shock and awe of all viewers — that Donald Trump’s own mother was not born in the United States and by the view of some extremists, perhaps Donald Trump wouldn’t be eligible for the presidency. A definite tongue-in-cheek moment that brought levity to the ludicrous nature of the Trump-led birther movement.
Additionally, Ted Cruz pointed out that Donald Trump agreed, as recently as September, that Cruz was in fact eligible for the presidency and that even after his highly paid attorneys looked into it, they agreed it was a non-issue.
“Back in September, my friend Donald said that he had his lawyers looked at this from every which way and there was no issue there — there was nothing to this birther issue (audience laughs in approval).
Now, since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed. But the poll numbers have.
And I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa.
But the facts and the law here are really quite clear. Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. If a soldier has a child abroad, that child is a U.S. citizen.”
Cruz went on to explain that both John McCain and George Romney were eligible to run for the presidency even though they were born on foreign soil (Panama and Mexico).
“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; she was naturalized.
Now Donald, on the issue of citizenship, I’m not going to use your mother’s birth against you.“
I’ve been around 54 years. This is one of the most powerful moments in the history of presidential debates.