News & Politics

Don't Look Now, but It's Not Just Ted Cruz With an Eligibility Problem

John McCain, Barack Obama, Ted Cruz… and now Marco Rubio:

Donald Trump in Pensacola on Wednesday night continued to question Canadian-bornTed Cruz’s eligibility to be president, wondering if Cruz were to win the nomination and a court ruled against him, “What do you do? Concede the election to Hillary Clinton or crazy Bernie?”

The jabs against Cruz, shadowed by some other Republican presidential candidates, have triggered serious talk about settling the ambiguity contained the Constitution and legal rulings. And that has ramifications for another Trump rival: Marco Rubio.

This week Rubio sought to have a court complaint in Florida against him thrown out, saying the argument “would jeopardize centuries of precedent and deem at least six former presidents ineligible for office.” (Last week he told reporters of Cruz, “I don’t think that’s an issue.”)

Rubio was born in Miami in 1971. But Rubio’s Cuban immigrant parents did not become U.S. citizens until 1975.That’s convinced so-called birthers to conclude Rubio is ineligible under Article 2 of the Constitution, which says “no person except a natural born citizen … shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The questions arose in 2011 when Rubio was being talked about as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

“It’s nothing to do with him personally. But you can’t change the rules because you like a certain person. Then you have no rules,” New Jersey lawyer Mario Apuzzo told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011.

It’s probably time for the courts to sort this out. America has sustained more than a half century of untrammeled immigration, and this question is going to keep coming up until it’s finally sorted.

A Fort Lauderdale man in December filed a complaint against Rubio and Cruz, arguing they are “naturalized citizens, or at the very least, simply fail to comply with the common law Supreme Court established definition of natural born citizen …”

Rubio filed a motion to dismiss on Jan. 11. The 34-page filing, heretofore unknown, shows that Rubio’s legal team spent considerable time researching the issue. “Senator Rubio is a natural born citizen of the United States and he is eligible to be President of the United States,” it concludes.

In 2011, Rubio played down the talk about eligibility. “I’m not going to answer that because I’m not thinking about it,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.  “All I care about is my qualifications to serve in the Senate. I just don’t think it’s relevant.”

To press their case, birthers dug up Rubio’s parents immigration papers. While the eligibility question is unresolved, in some eyes, the file (which the Times independently obtained) confirmed his parents were given citizenship in 1975. Rubio at the time said he did not know why his parents waited, though experts told the Times that it wasn’t uncommon for some immigrants to wait.

The immigration dossier broke some news: It showed Rubio’s parents came to the United States in 1956, not after Fidel Castro took over, as Rubio’s his official biography noted and he repeatedly implied when talking about his “exile” parents.

A vote for Rubio is just asking for trouble. No wonder the Democrats have developed a strange new respect for him.

Also read:

7 Reasons Marco Rubio Should Get the Republican Nomination