US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump and his top challenger Ted Cruz have clashed over Cruz’s Canadian birth and the business tycoon’s “New York values” during a tense debate. With the February 1 nomination ballot in Iowa, a swing state, coming into sharp focus, the debate on Thursday was a key one to influence voters, who will start to pick the party’s nominee to run for the White House in November.
Texas Senator Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, to a US citizen mother and a Cuban father, accused Trump of bringing up his birthplace simply because Cruz was leading some polls in Iowa.
Cruz said Trump, who led the movement questioning whether the Hawaiian-born President Barack Obama was really born in the US, had asked his lawyers to look into the issue of Cruz’s birth in September and concluded there were no issues.
“Since September, the Constitution has not changed, but the poll numbers have,” Cruz said. “And I recognise that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are dropping in Iowa, but the facts and the law here are really clear.” Trump said Democrats would sue if Cruz were on the Republican ticket, putting their party’s chances of winning at risk.