McCain Says He's Not Sure Cruz Is Eligible to Be President

And this coming from a former presidential candidate born in Panama
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2016 2:34 PM CST
McCain Says He's Not Sure Cruz Is Eligible to Be President
John McCain, himself born outside the US, says he's not sure if Ted Cruz is eligible to be president.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

There's a surprising new skeptic on the eligibility of the Canadian-born Ted Cruz to be president: John McCain. "It came up in my race because I was born in Panama, but I was born in the Canal Zone, which is a territory," McCain said Wednesday on 550 KFYI. "Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was a territory when he ran in 1964.” McCain and Goldwater were two of the examples Cruz used to justify his eligibility when he addressed the issue this week. Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother was a US citizen, which gave him US citizenship at birth, BuzzFeed reports. "It was a US military base,” McCain clarified to KFYI about his own birth. “That’s different from being born on foreign soil, so I think there is a question. I am not a constitutional scholar on that, but I think it’s worth looking into."

According to Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, it's really not all that surprising McCain would join Donald Trump and Rand Paul in questioning the eligibility of Cruz, who Cillizza describes as McCain's "longtime nemesis." In the past, McCain has accused Cruz of "grandstanding" and lumped him in with Tea Party "wacko birds." Cillizza characterizes McCain's statements on Cruz's eligibility as an act of revenge. "By McCain giving a 'you know, that's a good question' response to the question of whether Cruz is eligible to be president, he keeps the story—not a good one for the Texas senator—very much alive," Cillizza writes. (More John McCain stories.)

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