Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and 2016 presidential candidate, speaks during a town hall meeting at Dordt College in Sioux City, Iowa, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images
January 6, 2016 2:31 PM EST

Donald Trump isn’t the only person weighing in on Sen. Ted Cruz’s citizenship.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that it would be “quite ironic” if Republicans nominate presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz given the drama President Obama faced about his birth certificate.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and moved to the U.S. when he was four. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service and legal scholars agree that is most likely more than enough to qualify him as a “natural born citizen” under the U.S. Constitution.

But Trump, who also questioned President Obama’s birth certificate, said in an interview with the Washington Post Tuesday that Cruz’s birthplace was a “very precarious” issue.

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” he said.

Earnest, the White House spokesman, was happy to play along. He noted in his Wednesday press conference that Cruz “actually wasn’t born in the U.S.” and renounced his Canadian dual citizenship just 18 months ago.

Cruz has tried to remain above the fray, suggesting in a tweet that Trump had “jumped the shark,” a term for something that’s past its prime.

Read Next: What the Supreme Court Could Say About Ted Cruz’s Canadian Past

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

You May Also Like
EDIT POST