Democrats Content to Let GOP Hash Out Cruz Birther Issue

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Republicans continue to discuss the question of Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seemed content to let them hash it out themselves.  

"So you want to talk about politics, here under the Dome?" the California Democrat responded to a question about the GOP presidential nominating contest at her Thursday news conference. "This is inside baseball," she said, given the opportunity to weigh in on emergence of the "birther" issue. In the previous days, Donald Trump has stepped up his questioning of the Texas Republican's eligibility to serve. Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother and father who emigrated to the United States from Cuba. Cruz and his campaign have pushed back, but the issue grew legs when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it was a legitimate question.  

McCain faced questions about his eligibility to be president in 2008. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone to American parents while his father was in the Navy.  

Pelosi did weigh in slightly, saying, "I do think there is a distinction between John McCain being born to a family serving our country in Panama than someone born in another country, but again, this is a constitutional issue that will be either decided or not."  

"Whoever they choose, we will be ready to make the contrast," she added about the GOP race. "I wish them well in their process."  

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., didn't say anything about the issue at a Democratic Party dinner in Nevada Wednesday night.

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