Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump: Illegal immigrants treated better than veterans Trump should apologize to heroic POWs McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money MORE (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday questioned Ted CruzTed CruzDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Meet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Party chairs see reversal of fortune MORE's eligibility to be president, piling on to recent attacks over the Texas senator’s citizenship.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” McCain said of the GOP candidate's eligibility in a radio interview on “The Chris Merrill Show” in Arizona, which was reported by BuzzFeed.
“I know it came up in my race because I was born in Panama, but I was born in the Canal Zone which is a territory. Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was a territory when he ran in 1964.”
McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, faced similar skepticism while he was running for president, but McCain noted that there are differences between his and Cruz’s birthplaces.
The Arizona senator was born on a U.S. military base. Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother was a U.S. citizen.
“Yeah, it was a U.S. military base,” McCain said. “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. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it.”
The Constitution says that in order to run for president, one must be a "natural born citizen" — long regarded as anyone born to a U.S. citizen, regardless of where that person is born.
McCain was weighing in on recent questions from GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump thought biker rally crowd would resemble ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Weld wins Libertarian nomination for VP Dems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals MORE about whether Cruz is a natural born citizen.
“You go to federal court, you ask for a declaratory judgment. Once the court rules, you have your decision,” Trump said in a Wednesday interview with CNN. “That will clear it all up."
Cruz is pushing back on claims over his citizenship, saying he never owned a Canadian passport.
"Of course not," Cruz told CNN earlier Wednesday. "Yes, I'm sure. The media, with all due respect, love to engage in silly sideshows. We need to focus on what matters."