The Ted Cruz Birther Debate Is 'Pitch Perfect'

Here's what you need to know
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2016 11:12 AM CST

(Newser) – It looks like this "Is Ted Cruz eligible to be president of the United States?" story isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Birther 2: Electric Cruzaloo was kicked off by Donald Trump this week, with the Donald repeatedly wondering aloud if Cruz's Canadian birth could keep him from fulfilling the "natural born citizen" requirement for president, despite his mother being a US citizen at the time of his birth. Here are six articles to keep you up to date on this important story:

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  1. The Los Angeles Times gets to the bottom of the debate by looking at what "natural born citizen" actually means and why the Founding Fathers included it in the constitution. "They were worried about a foreign duke arriving with a boatload of gold and bribing his way to take power," a Yale law professor explains.
  2. BuzzFeed reports former candidate Lindsey Graham is LOLing about the whole situation. And while he thinks Cruz is eligible to be president, he also isn't surprised Trump is bringing it up. "It was pretty clever on his part actually.”
  3. That's a sentiment echoed by Slate, which finds this week's statements by Trump "sort of brilliant" and "pitch perfect." "It’s that slight, slight chance that Cruz’s eligibility may be imperiled that Trump is sinisterly and shrewdly playing to…Trump hasn’t put Cruz in a corner just yet but has put him in, shall we say, a spot."
  4. Meanwhile, Dana Milbank at the Washington Post is savoring a bit of schadenfreude. "Trump’s questioning of Cruz’s status as a natural-born American and, therefore, his eligibility to be president is rough justice. Cruz, like Trump, has stoked the fires of resentment and xenophobia, so it’s entirely fitting that he gets burned."
  5. Newsweek notes the Cruz birther story has taken on further shades of the previous Obama birther nonsense, with Cruz's campaign producing his mother's birth certificate. There had been allegations that Cruz's mother was secretly a Canadian citizen at the time of his birth.
  6. Finally, Cruz is getting questions about his eligibility out of the headlines by creating a brand new controversy himself. The Huffington Post quotes his inflammatory choice of words when discussing Hillary Clinton and Benghazi: "In my house, if my daughter Catherine, the 5-year-old, says something she knows to be false, she gets a spanking."
(Read more Ted Cruz stories.)

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