The eligibility of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president is a “non-issue,” according to fellow GOP presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio.
While Cruz and Rubio may spar over immigration, the Florida senator was quick to defend Cruz from accusations that he is ineligible to become the next U.S. president as he was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father.
“He is eligible to be president. That is a total non-issue, it really is,” Rubio told CNN prior to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address. “We should be focused once again on what matters here, and that is which Republican can win the nomination and turn this country around after the damage Barack Obama has done.”
Rubio dismissed the idea that Cruz could be tied up in courts battling his eligibility should he be the Republican’s 2016 presidential nominee.
“The bottom line is Ted is a natural born citizen. You can only be naturalized or natural-born, and he wasn’t naturalized,” Rubio said. “It’s a non-issue. If Donald [Trump] wants to spend his time talking about it, let him talk about it, but I’m going to focus on the future of this country.”
Trump, the GOP frontrunner, has questioned Cruz’s eligibility multiple times on the campaign trail. Other Republican presidential candidates, such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, have also questioned Cruz’s eligibility as a “natural-born citizen.”
Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D) has already vowed to file a lawsuit should the Texas senator become the Republican nominee.