Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonTrump campaign's taco truck gaffe underscores Latinos' political power Dem polling shows Rubio in a dead heat Canova refuses to congratulate Wasserman Schultz on victory MORE (D-Fla.) says he will file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzFour states sue to stop internet transition House approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security MORE’s (R-Texas) presidential bid if Cruz wins his party’s nomination.
Grayson said Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, is “unqualified” to be president “because he’s ineligible.”
“I’m waiting for the moment that he gets the nomination, and then I will file that beautiful lawsuit saying that he’s unqualified for the job because he’s ineligible,” Grayson said on Fox News Radio’s “The Alan Colmes Show” on Wednesday.
“Call me crazy but I think the President of America should be an American,” he added. Cruz is an American citizen.
The Florida lawmaker compared questions of Cruz's eligibility to “birthers” who claimed President Obama was born in Kenya and therefore not eligible for the office.
“It’s interesting to me that the people who had a problem with Obama’s birth certificate don’t have a problem with Ted Cruz, who literally was born in another country and renounced his Canadian citizenry,” Grayson said.
Other candidates who have run for president over the years have been born outside the U.S.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the Republican nominee for president in 2008 despite being born on a military base in Panama.
And George Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to American parents.
The Constitution’s Natural Born Citizenship Clause states that “no person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
The Supreme Court has never ruled on the meaning of “natural born citizen” in the clause.
Cruz, a constitutional lawyer, has insisted that his birth in Canada does not disqualify him from being president, noting the distinction between natural-born and naturalized citizen.
“I was born in Calgary. My mother was an American citizen by birth,” Cruz said in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The Constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen.”