Donald Trump, whose 2012 presidential flirtations centered around his purported skepticism about the birthplace of President Obama, resurrected the broad outline of that complaint to impugn Ted Cruz, the man currently best positioned to undermine Trump's chances at the 2016 nomination. (At least one Beltway insider thinks Trump's strategy is "brilliant.")
Trump followed up on his original statement ("a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport") with some concern trolling Wednesday morning.
(Concern trolling is when you pretend to be concerned about something that really you think is good, or at least that's how we're using it here.)
Cruz responded with a quote given to our Dave Weigel. "As a legal matter, the question is quite straightforward. It's settled law," he said. "The child of a U.S. citizen, born abroad, is a U.S. citizen."
That's mostly true, with some important qualifications. The definition of who is and isn't a natural-born citizen is written into law with a lot of sub-points and "ifs" included. There could always be a challenge to Cruz's election if he won, of course, but he would likely prevail. While the overlap of a "nationals and citizens of the United States at birth," as written in the legal code, and the Constitution's "natural-born citizen" hasn't been tested before, most experts agree that Cruz would meet the standard. (As we've noted before, anyone can run for president, including one of Ted Cruz's famous boots. If it won, though, it couldn't actually serve.)
Given the reemergence of the issue, we thought we'd use the legal code to put together a quiz. Can you tell which of the following scenarios would result in a child who is a natural-born citizen?
If you happen to be friends with Donald Trump, by the way, please ask him to take the quiz. We're curious how he would do.