Ted Cruz has not been forthright on his birthright citizenship position

By Tom Quiner

In last week’s Republican debate, Marco Rubio accused Ted Cruz of dramatic flip-flopping.

Cruz pretty much said Rubio lied.

Let’s look at one claim made by Senator Rubio, that Senator Cruz used to favor birthright citizenship, but now he opposes it:

Here is what senatorial candidate, Cruz said in a 2011 interview:

“I served five-and-a-half years as the solicitor general of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state of Texas, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and I have repeatedly defended the Constitution. The 14th Amendment provides for birthright citizenship. I’ve looked at the legal arguments against birthright citizenship, and I will tell you, as a Supreme Court litigator, those arguments are not very good. As much as someone may dislike the policy of birthright citizenship, it is in the U.S. Constitution. I don’t like it when federal judges set aside the Constitution because of their policy preferences are different, and I think it’s a mistake for conservatives to be focusing on trying to fight what the Constitution says on birthright citizenship.”

That was then. Cruz has since switched his view on the subject to correspond with prevailing political winds:

“We should end granting automatic birthright citizenship to the children of those who are here illegally. That has been my position from the very first day of my running for the Senate.”

It is Senator Cruz, in fact, who has not been forthright about his position.


  1. Sally Tudor on January 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Sally's Political Page.

  2. Shawn Pavlik on January 21, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Then again, you have Rubio:




    “An earned pathway is amnesty” – Rubio, 2010, then later, he WROTE the legislation on a pathway to citizenship.

    I’m just not sure we can trust Rubio….

    • quinersdiner on January 21, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Fair enough. Most candidates on both sides of the aisle have changed positions on at least an issue or two. Rubio certainly backed away from a “comprehensive” approach to immigration reform when it became clear that the president couldn’t be trusted to properly enforce the law. He now supports a piecemeal approach which begins with securing our Southern border. Thanks for writing, even when we don’t agree.

      • Oliver on January 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

        But only Ben Carson skipped all the hullabuloo by instead of quietly changing his mind, carefully admitting he was wrong.

        • quinersdiner on January 21, 2016 at 10:14 am

          That’s good to know. Thanks for sharing this insight.

  3. abcinsc on January 21, 2016 at 8:23 am

    It’s unsettled law and will be adjudicated, one way or another. A protracted lawsuit, regardless of merits, would be devastating to the GOP’s bid for the White House – put election results in hands of Supreme Court. Not good.

    • quinersdiner on January 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

      I think you’re right, Art. Someone on Twitter suggested to me that Cruz’s contradictory statements on the subject indicate that he wants to change the law. But if the right is established by the 14th Amendment, does that mean that Cruz wants to repeal this foundational Amendment?

      • abcinsc on January 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

        They’re politicians, who can know what they really think? They say whatever is required to get elected and then serve their donor masters. Not a pretty picture.