Establishment RINO relic John McCain, 79, who would not question the eligibility of Marxist Democrat Barack Hussein Obama’s presidential eligibility during his failed 2008 presidential bid, is now going full-on birther against constitutional conservative presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a fellow Republican.
Sounding like Donald Trump, who earlier this week embraced birtherism — a flip-flop of a flip-flop for Trump — the Panama-born John McCain attempted to plant seeds of doubt on Ted Cruz’s eligibility hoping to shave a few points off of Cruz’s meteoric rise in the polls.
McCain, who was supporting fellow RINO Lindsey Graham for president before his recent departure from the race, claims that he “doesn’t know” if Ted Cruz is eligible for president and gave a wink-wink-nod-nod to the notion that the Supreme Court should look into the matter.
CBS News reports via an interview Wednesday on Phoenix radio station 550 KFYI’s Chris Merill Show:
“I know that 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 territory when he ran in 1964,” McCain said.
McCain added that he was born on a U.S. military base, which he said is not the same as being born in Canada.
“That’s different from being born on foreign soil. I think there is a question. I’m 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.”
Asked if the Supreme Court might have to weigh in on the “natural born citizen” issue, McCain said, “It may be, that may be the case.”
On Wednesday, constitutional scholar Mark Levin spent considerable time delving into the issue of birtherism, stating unequivocally that it does not matter where Ted Cruz was born because his mother is a U.S. citizen who was born in the United States.
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Levin said the issue is so cut and dry that those who believe Ted Cruz is not eligible to be President of the United States are “kooks” and that it is a “dumbass issue” that “won’t change a single vote.”
Legal scholar Andrew McCarthy wrote extensively about the issue on Wednesday, pointing out that Panama-born John McCain himself was made eligible for the presidency by “parental citizenship,” rather than the location of his birth.
Under the law in effect when Cruz was born in 1970 (i.e., statutes applying to people born between 1952 and 1986), the requirement was that, at the time of birth, the American citizen parent had to have resided in the U.S. for ten years, including five years after the age of fourteen. Cruz’s mother, Eleanor, easily met that requirement: she was in her mid-thirties when Ted was born and had spent most of her life in the U.S., including graduating from Rice University with a math degree that led to employment in Houston as a computer programmer at Shell Oil.
As Katyal and Clement point out, there is nothing new in this principle that presidential eligibility is derived from parental citizenship. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 candidate, was born in the Panama Canal Zone at a time when there were questions about its sovereign status. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee in 1964, was born in Arizona before it became a state, and George Romney, who unsuccessfully sought the same party’s nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico. In each instance, the candidate was a natural born citizen by virtue of parentage, so his eligibility was not open to credible dispute.
McCarthy explained that even under immigration laws going all the way back to 1790, Ted Cruz would still be a natural born citizen.