Sen. John McCain, who faced birther questions of his own while running for president, said Wednesday that the Supreme Court may have to eventually decide if Canadian-born GOP candidate Ted Cruz is eligible for the Oval Office.
"I know it came up in my race because I was born in Panama, but I was born in the Canal Zone which is a territory," the veteran Arizona Republican lawmaker told The Chris Merrill Show on KFY1550
, reports Buzzfeed
. "Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was a territory when he ran in 1964."
Cruz says the issue is "quite straightforward and settled law."
The Texas Republican was born in Calgary, Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014.
"People will continue to make political noise about it, but as a legal matter, it's quite straightforward," Cruz said.
However, GOP front-runner Donald Trump brought up the question of Cruz' eligibility on Tuesday, telling The Washington Post
that the Texan's Canadian birth could be a "very precarious" for the Republican Party should he win the nomination.
Another GOP rival, Sen. Rand Paul, also said Wednesday that he did not know if Cruz would be eligible to become president.
McCain pointed out that he was actually born on U.S. territory, as his birth was on a military base, making it "different from being born on foreign soil, so I think there is a question. I am not a Constitutional scholar on that, but I think it'
s worth looking into. I don't think it's illegitimate to look into it."
But he does think that Cruz should try getting ahead of the eligibility issues, like he did himself about his own birthplace.
"I would think so," McCain added, when asked if Cruz should try to get ahead of eligibility issues, saying he got ahead of questions about his birth in the Canal Zone.
"It may be, that may be the case," McCain said of the Supreme Court deciding the meaning of being a "natural born" citizen.
McCain and Cruz have not always had the best of relationships, including when the Arizona senator called Cruz and other Republicans "wacko birds," reports The Washington Post.
Also, McCain had supported his friend Sen. Lindsey Graham's bid for the GOP nomination, until the South Carolinian dropped out of the race.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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