The Donald Trump/Ted Cruz birther issue finally came face-to-face in Thursday's GOP presidential debate when Cruz was asked about it by moderator Neil Cavuto.
Cruz noted that Trump in September said Cruz's Canadian birth did not disqualify him for the White House since his mother was an American citizen. Now, he has changed his mind.
"Now since September, the Constitution hasn't changed," Cruz said, "but the poll numbers have."
Trump acknowledged as much, saying that Cruz didn't seem like a threat before, but now is neck-and-neck with him in the Iowa polls.
Cruz said his old Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe who says he isn't eligible because he wasn't born on U.S. soil is a Hillary Clinton supporter.
He also said some extreme legal scholars actually believe a natural born citizen must have both parents born in the United States.
"Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified and interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified because, Donald's mother was born in Scotland," Cruz said.
"On issue of citizenship I'm not going to use your mother's birth against you," he told Trump.
Trump said that was good, "because it wouldn't work."
Cruz said if he gets the nomination he'll make Trump his running mate, then, if he truly is disqualified, Trump himself can ascend to the presidency as he wishes.
"I like it," Trump replied. "I would consider it but I think I will go back to building buildings if it doesn't work out."
Cruz said Trump, who led the movement questioning whether the Hawaiian-born President Barack Obama was really born in the United States, had asked his lawyers to look into the issue of Cruz's birth in September and concluded there were no issues.
Trump said Democrats would sue if Cruz were on the Republican ticket, putting their party's chances of winning at risk.
"There's a big question mark on your head," Trump told his rival, with whom he has had friendly relations over the past year on the campaign. "The Democrats are going to bring a lawsuit."
He urged Cruz, who is a lawyer, to ask a court to put the question to rest.
"I'm not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump," Cruz retorted.
Trump, who has proven to be a master at finding a perceived weakness in an opponent, has made an increasing issue of Cruz's Canadian birth, suggesting it violated the U.S. Constitution's requirement that only "natural born citizens" can be president.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.
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