Although many of Donald Trump’s detractors often dismiss the billionaire’s bluster with the criticism that he is “all talk,” it’s entirely possible that the GOP front-runner is getting ready to move things into the action phase. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump has been publicly teasing that he will file a lawsuit challenging the citizenship of Republican rival Ted Cruz. In a wide-ranging press conference on Monday, Trump ramped up the threats, indicating that he is almost ready to his move. He repeated the assertions Tuesday morning in an appearance on Good Morning America.
“I’m thinking about it very seriously,” Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos in comments transcribed by People Magazine. “I already have a lawyer, we’re looking at it very seriously, we’re thinking about it.”
The crux of Donald Trump’s legal argument ostensibly centers around the fact that Ted Cruz was born in Canada. Although both of the Texas senator’s parents were American citizens at the time, there is something of a legal gray area as to whether or not Cruz is considered a “natural–born” citizen. The Constitution requires the President of the United States to be a natural-born citizen, which can be construed to mean that a candidate should be born on American soil to be eligible for high office.
Thus far, Donald Trump’s threats are largely conditional, allegedly hinging upon whether or not Ted Cruz changes his tactics in what has become an increasingly heated contest for the Republican nomination.
“One of the ways I can fight back is to bring a lawsuit against him relative to the fact that he was born in Canada and therefore cannot be President,” Donald Trump said in a statement re-published by CNN. “If he doesn’t take down his false ads and retract his lies, I will do so immediately. Additionally, the RNC should intervene and if they don’t they are in default of their pledge to me.”
Despite Trump’s complaints the Cruz camp’s negative tactics, the candidate himself maligned his opposition during a series of media appearances Monday, calling Cruz, “a bad guy,” “a basket case,” and “unstable.”
Ted Cruz isn’t getting any assistance from fellow senator Marco Rubio, who has also impugned Cruz’s integrity while on the campaign trail. Like Donald Trump, Rubio has accused his rival of dishonesty, specifically with regard to Cruz’s representation of Rubio’s position on a number of social issues. For his part, Ted Cruz has shrugged off accusations from both Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.
“It makes you wonder how they would deal with Putin,” Cruz said of Trump and Rubio during an appearance on Fox News. “I’m not sure that would be very effective (at) negotiating to just scream, ‘Liar, liar.’ You need to have the judgment and strength to keep this country safe.”
Ted Cruz has largely responded to Donald Trump’s talk of a lawsuit by criticizing the real estate mogul’s history and campaign antics. Cruz’s campaign staff appear to believe that Trump lacks the appropriate standing to be successful with a legal challenge, though. Reporter Philip Bump of the Washington Post addressed such concerns in a recent piece, explaining that while Trump can certainly bring an action and follow through to hearings on the matter, the chances that he will ultimately prevail seem unlikely. In that respect, the lingering threat of such an action could ultimately prove more useful for Trump than the actual suit itself.
“Trump’s litigiousness is rooted in part on knowing that he can settle most lawsuits out of court as he sees fit; this case would be such a massive event that it could end up being harder for Trump to resolve as he sees fit. The threat of a lawsuit, too, can be an effective tool for changing behavior, which Trump also knows very well.”
With the South Carolina primary looming, pundits doubt that Trump will take any formal action against Ted Cruz until after that crucial election. Donald Trump maintains a double-digit lead against Cruz heading into that contest, which will take place on February 20.
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