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Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE says it would be a risky move to give Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report MORE (R-Texas) the party’s nomination for president amid questions about his eligibility.
“It’s not a settled matter. He was born in Canada. And I say to Ted, and as a Republican I say it, because I think it’s very important, you gotta get it straightened out,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Saturday.
He said it would be risky to nominate Cruz "because you cannot put somebody there folks who’s going to go in, and he’s going to be immediately sued by the Democrats because they’re saying he was born in Canada and he’s not allowed to run for president."
Trump said he thought only citizens born in the U.S. could run for president.
“And, honestly, I don’t know, because some people say you have to be born on the land, OK?” he said. “You have to be born on the land. That’s what I always thought before, you have to be born on the land. So he was born in Canada.”
Cruz, a constitutional lawyer, has maintained that he is a natural-born citizen, as opposed to a naturalized citizen, because his mother is American.
Several citizens who were not born in the U.S. have previously run for president.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican nominee for president, was born on a military base in Panama.
And George Romney, who ran in the Republican primary in 1968, was born in Mexico to American parents.
Article II of the Constitution states: “No person except a natural born Citizen … shall be eligible to the Office of President.”