Donald Trump said that Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz's birthplace in Canada was a "very precarious" issue that could affect the Texas senator's standing should he win the nomination.
"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," Trump told The Washington Post
in an interview Monday before a rally in Lowell, Mass.
"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," Trump added. "You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.
"I'd hate to see something like that get in his way," he later added. "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 told the Post that he was being candid about Cruz, who is gaining on him in recent polls, versus re-starting the "birther" issue that he used against President Barack Obama.
"People are bringing it up," the developer said.
Under the Constitution, presidents must be a "natural-born citizen," according to the report. Those born to U.S. citizens are granted citizenship under U.S. law, regardless of where they were actually born.
Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970 to a mother who was a U.S. citizen and a father who was born in Cuba, the Post reports.
The senator has contended that he is an American citizen based on that criteria — and he has released his birth certificate and renounced his Canadian citizenship since being elected to Capitol Hill in 2012.
Cruz responded to Trump's attack Tuesday on Twitter:
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