On Friday, GOP candidate and media mogul Donald Trump threatened to sue Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, over his Canadian birth if he continued to run what Trump ironically called a nasty campaign. While Cruz had a grand opportunity to respond in kind, he refused, simply saying that he’s “not gonna insult” Trump in return, Politico reported.
“There’s more than a little irony in Donald accusing anybody of being nasty given the amazing torrent of insults and obscenities that come out of his mouth on any given day,” the Texas Republican said. “Suddenly, every day he comes out with a new attack.”
“My approach consistently has been I’m not going to respond to him. So he can launch whatever insults he wants,” he said. “There is a reason that Donald engages in attacks, because it’s all a smokescreen for his record.”
Trump unleashed several nasty tweets in what many have now come to regard as “Trumpertantrums.” The tirade included a message demanding Cruz stop his campaign claiming he would have standing to sue his rival for allegedly not being eligible to run for the White House.
“If @TedCruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen,” Trump tweeted. Apparently, Trump didn’t get the memo released earlier in the month by the Illinois Board of Elections, which said Cruz is a natural-born citizen and eligible to run for the White House.
According to the Huffington Post, two objectors challenged Cruz’s White House bid, claiming that he is not eligible to run for the highest office in the land. The board, however, adopted the recommendation of a hearing officer and ruled against the objections.
“The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth,” the board declared on the same day Cruz won the Iowa caucuses. Cruz, the board added, met the criteria because he “did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth.”
None of this, however, is likely to mean anything to Trump or his supporters. While the former has issued bombastic and apparently empty threats to sue, the latter has engaged in a wild-eyed, spittle-flecked campaign of conspiracy theories. One theory, sadly repeated by some respected conservative bloggers, is that Cruz allegedly came into the country illegally.
Despite the conspiracy theories that oddly enough, were called “racist” when they were leveled at Barack Obama, legal scholars have said that Cruz is a citizen and is eligible to run. Peter Spiro, a law professor at Temple University who specializes in constitutional law, told CBS in 2013 that it’s “pretty clear” Cruz is eligible “because he was a citizen at birth.” Gabriel Chin, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, agreed.