Donald Trump Pulls the Birther Handbook Out of Retirement, Uses It Against Ted Cruz

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US-VOTE-REPUBLICANS-DEBATE
He's just asking questions!Photo: ROBYN BECK

Senator Ted Cruz has floated to the top of the polls in Iowa recently, surpassing Donald Trump, a man who once said“I believe in polls. How many elections do you see where the polls were wrong? Not that many.”

Since the Iowa caucuses are less than a month away, Trump appears to have desperately rummaged through his soundbite junk drawer and found the one tool that has always served him badly — his trusty birther fire-starting kit. Back in 2011, Trump told Fox News that Obama “doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that.” 

Two years later, he reflected on his flirtation with conspiracy theories with ABC News“I don’t think I went overboard. Actually, I think it made me very popular … I do think I know what I’m doing.”

On Tuesday, Mr. I Do Think I Know What I’m Doing told the Washington Post that Cruz, who “has a wonderful temperament” and is a “really nice guy,” might not be the best person to pick as your presidential candidate. Because — Trump is just asking questions, mind you — he might be Canadian, since he was born there and all. “I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport,” Trump said.

He added“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem. It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”

Back in September, when Donald Trump was leading the polls in Iowa and Cruz was just a guy in third place hoping to one day be great enough to steal all of Trump’s fans, the birther-in-chief told ABC News“I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape.” 

A year earlier, he told the same network, “I think he’s a really nice guy, I’ve gotten to know him a little bit, but I think if he’s born in Canada, it’s a problem — no question about it.”

Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, but he is an American citizen. He was unaware that he was also an automatic citizen of Canada, and renounced that citizenship last year after it became news.

The senator responded to Trump by tweeting a video of Fonzie jumping the shark, in an effort to continue his streak of only speaking in pop-culture references.

It is not clear if this means that they aren’t going to pretend to be friends anymore.