It was supposed to be a discussion about the latest, irresponsible, pointless threat from the Republican Party to bring the US economy crashing down unless the Democrats voted to defund the Affordable Healthcare Act (known as Obamacare). However, Chris Matthews interview with Tea Party Congressman Blake Farenthold (Rep., TX, 27th.) turned to the question of the eligibility of Senator Ted Cruz to run for president in 2016.
Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, is widely considered to meet the requirements of US citizenship as laid down by the Nationality Act of 1940, and Matthews himself was quick to say that as far as he is concerned Cruz is perfectly entitled to carry the Republican flag in 2016. When he asked Congressman Farenthold if he concurred, Farenthold replied that Cruz “is as eligible as Obama is. . . If he can be president, Ted Cruz can be president.”
Anyone watching or listening could of course see that the veil had been lifted. There was no way Matthews was going to let this one go. What followed was an almost farcical exchange as Congressman Farenthold refused point-blank, again and again, to not only confirm that he believed that President Obama was the legitimately elected president of the United States, but that he was a legitimate US citizen. While not directly or openly calling either of these issues into question, he dodged the matter repeatedly, claiming that since he was not a member of Congress at the time of the president’s election, he was not able to say whether he was a citizen or his election to the White House was legitimate:
Barack Obama has had to put up with an extraordinary campaign of slander and innuendo since he was sworn in as president. Whether it’s accusations that he is a crypto-socialist, a secret Muslim, or not even an American, the sad reality seems to be that as long as the Tea Party and their like-minded friends are around, he will have to put up with it. However, Matthews was exactly right. Everybody knows what these guys are doing.