President Obama on Thursday made a joke at the expense of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown O'Rourke's mom discusses past Dem votes after labeled 'lifelong Republican' by son Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE (R-Texas) at a state dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 


During his toast, Obama needled Cruz over widely debunked questions surrounding his eligibility to run for president.

The president said Americans and Canadians are both committed to the principle that “you can make it if you try,” no matter the circumstances of one’s birth.

“And we see this in our current presidential campaign,” Obama said. “After all, where else could a boy born in Calgary grow up to run for president of the United States?” 

The president made his crack at Cruz just minutes before a CNN Republican primary debate was set to begin.

Cruz’s chief rival in the race, businessman Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE, has repeatedly questioned whether the Texas Republican is a natural-born citizen — a constitutional requirement to be president. He was born in Canada to a Cuban father and American mother.

Most legal experts say Cruz’s Canadian birthplace isn’t an impediment to occupying the Oval Office. A New York judge this week threw out a lawsuit challenging his eligibility for to be president.

Obama is no stranger to the questions surrounding Cruz. Since he launched his first campaign, some of Obama’s critics have alleged he was born in Kenya and is not eligible to be president. Obama is a natural-born citizen; he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and Kenyan-born father.