Paul backs Trump on birthright citizenship

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcConnell moves to force vote on Trump's counterterrorism nominee Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Lame-duck Congress should pass First Step Act MORE (R-Ky.) jumped to the defense of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE's call to end birthright citizenship just an hour after the GOP front-runner called the senator unfit to be on the debate stage Wednesday night.

"I hate to say it, but Donald Trump has a bit of a point here," Paul said at the California event, adding that the Supreme Court case that interprets the 14th Amendment to include birthright citizenship happened in the early 1900s and discussed someone with a green card. 

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"There's never been a direct Supreme Court case on people who are here illegally, whether their kids are citizens. It hasn't been completely adjudicated." 

The issue of birthright citizenship dominated the GOP field last month after Trump released his immigration platform that called to end the policy. 

"The 14th Amendment says very, very clearly to a lot of scholars, not television scholars, legal scholars, that it is wrong," Trump said of the interpretation that allows birthright citizenship. 

"Mexico and almost every other country in the world doesn’t have that. We are the only ones dumb enough, stupid enough.”

Fellow 2016 hopeful Carly Fiorina pushed back against the idea of changing that interpretation, noting that it would take a long time to either push a case through to the Supreme Court or to work a constitutional amendment through Congress. 

“Meanwhile what will continue to go on is what's been going on for 25 years — nothing," she said.  

Fiorina blamed President Obama for not dealing with the issue despite running on it during his campaign for the presidency, adding that "Democrats don't want this issue solved, they want it to be an issue that they can use."