Donald Trump did an interview Wednesday night on CNN with Erin Burnett and after he spent a good amount of time dissing Nikki Haley's speech, he then weighed in on the Ted Cruz, birther issue. The question of whether Ted Cruz is a "natural born citizen” has really taken off, especially after Mary Brigid McManamon's article appeared in the Washington Post on top of Cruz' own Harvard professor, Laurence Tribe's article on the same topic.
Trump filibustered most of almost four minutes on the Cruz/birther issue.
BURNETT: And what about Ted Cruz? You are running neck and neck in Iowa. You know, some polls have you ahead. Now some polls have him ahead. He has been barnstorming the state on the ground, right, this bus tour, 28 events last week alone. The candidate who usually does that on the ground, lives there, basically, ends up winning that state. You've had a different strategy. Are you worried about Ted Cruz?
Trump: Well, first of all, Ted's very nervous and he shouldn't be nervous. I don't know why. He's so worried about it I even see him talking about it and you can see it. It's ridiculous. he's got to take care of a problem. he has got a problem that the Democrats will be bringing suit, saying he wasn't born in this country, therefore he's not eligible, essentially to run for president. There's going to be a suit brought.
Right now, there are people that are mixed. You have Laurence Tribe, a brilliant lawyer from Harvard, that said that this is an unsettled matter. You have other lawyers --
BURNETT: He was a professor of Ted Cruz's.
TRUMP: Who was a professor of his, a very, you know, a very great lawyer. You have other lawyers, numerous other lawyers, that have said the same things. I read stories just over the last 24 hours from -- in various newspapers where other people are saying the exact same thing. Now, the Republicans can't nominate somebody if -- assuming, I think I'm going to win on -- on my own merits. I -- and I'm very, very far ahead.↓ Story continues below ↓
But if he ever got it, the Democrats are going to bring suit the first day. And, how do you run when you have a suit like that hanging over your head, and almost as importantly, I mean, you're running for office, and you have a suit saying you can't run for office. So, until the judges make that determination. Now, perhaps he can go in and get a declaratory judgement, meaning he can go to court early, but he's got to solve that problem, that's a big problem. He was born in Canada, and, in fact, he was a Canadian citizen. I guess he was --
I love how he makes it seem like he's not the orchestrator of the Cruz/birther problems, but that of the democrats.
As time has gone on, he only talks about it more and more and more. And more experts are weighing into it that are falling on the side of Trump.
As much as Cruz' supporters in the media, like Mark Levin want to put this behind them, it will not go away.
Here's the rest of the transcript:
BURNETT: Yes. TRUMP: -- a citizen of the U.S. and Canada until 15 months ago. So, he's got a problem, and the Democrats are going to bring suit. So, how do you have a candidate -- how do we have our candidate -- we say, "Good luck, Ted. Go out there and get it. By the way, the Democrats are saying in court -- and they have brilliant lawyers saying that they're right, that you don't have the right to run." That's a problem. I don't know how he solves it. He's got to go to court and get it solved.
BURNETT: There are many though that think --
TRUMP: -- I mean, he was born --
BURNETT: -- that it's not an issue --
TRUMP: -- In Canada --
BURNETT: -- He -- he was born in --
TRUMP: -- He was born in Canada --
BURNETT: -- He was born in Canada. I mean, hundred percent true, right? But there are a lot of people --
TRUMP: -- Well there are many people --
BURNETT: -- Even Republicans say this whole conversations absurd. I mean, I talked to Governor Kasich about it --
TRUMP: -- No, they don't say that. John McCain didn't say that --
BURNETT: Fair, John McCain didn't, but --
TRUMP: -- But the very highly respected governor -- by the way, the very highly respected governor of Iowa didn't say that.
TRUMP: And, many other people didn't say that, and frankly, a lot of lawyers don't say that. Maybe, most importantly. A lot of legal scholars don't say that. And, I'm not saying anything one way or the other, this was a question that was asked to me of the Washington Post. This how -- I didn't start this. The Washington Post asked me a question, "What do you think? Do you think he's got the right to run for President?"
Now, there is a group, a large group of legal talent that thinks to run for President you have to be -- you have to be born on the land. Now, McCain was born on a military base to two people that were citizens, OK? Of the United States. He was born on a military base, and I understand that very well. And, you know, he was able to skirt that issue, and that's fine, and I fully understand that. This is different. He was born in Canada --
BURNETT: Right, not a territory of the U.S.
TRUMP: -- This is different --
BURNETT: It is different than the John McCain situation, right?
TRUMP: Much different.
BURNETT: But --
TRUMP: Much different.
BURNETT: -- Let me play for you what Governor Kasich --
TRUMP: -- Excuse me, there is a group -- Erin, before you play it --
TRUMP: Before you play it, there's a group of people that say you have to be born on the land. OK?
BURNETT: Yes, there are and that's what --
TRUMP: -- And, that's what that means --
BURNETT: -- some of those constitutional scholars are saying. Look, it's a fair point --
TRUMP: We're not going to -- we're not going to know until it's tested, but how can you have it tested if you're running for office?
BURNETT: All right. Let me play for you though what Governor Kasich had to say because, as you know, there are a lot of people who agree with what you're about to hear. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have time for whether, you know, Ted Cruz is, you know, an American, or whatever. It's -- I'm not interested to tell you the truth, Erin. We have too many problems to be picking at that, it's just -- that lowers debate, and lowers the discussion, and I'm not for doing that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What so you say to that, Mr. Trump? Right, I mean, I know you're saying you were asked a question --
TRUMP: I agree with it a hundred percent --
BURNETT: -- you didn't bring it up, but you've just brought it up again to me. You're bringing it up --
TRUMP: Erin, you'd be surprised.
TRUMP: I agree with it a hundred percent, but the Democrats don't. They're going to bring a lawsuit. They've already said they're going to bring a lawsuit. So, they're going to bring a lawsuit, and we'll have somebody potentially running for president who people don't even know if he's allowed for president? I don't like it as an issue. Again, this was brought to me as a question from "The Washington Post." And, in an article from "The Washington Post" a number of top legal scholars have stated that he doesn't have the right to run. So, how can the Republicans put up a candidate that may not have the right to run? In other words, there's a questions as to whether or not he has the right to run. It's a big question.
[19:15:33] BURNETT: You do -- you do like bringing it up though. I mean, I'll give you that other people are saying it's a serious issue, but you are shall I say, stirring the pot.
TRUMP: Excuse me, I don't bring it up. Who asked me the question? I didn't bring this up to you, you brought it up to me, Erin. I'm doing and interview -- I'm doing an interview with you by phone, and you're question was this. I didn't -- I didn't bring this up. I wouldn't have brought it up. You brought it up to me just now.
BURNETT: Well, I brought up was Ted Cruz nervous about Iowa, and then you brought this up.
TRUMP: Ted Cruz -- he's very nervous. I watch him, he's very nervous. He can't answer the question because there is no answer to the question because nobody knows. It's an unsettled matter. As Lawrence Tribe of Harvard would say, it's an unsettled matter, and as many other people would say -- some people go further than that. They say he doesn't have the right to run.