Matt Lewis

Coming soon: Rubio ‘birthers’

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

Despite my hopes, Sen. Marco Rubio will not run for president in 2012. But that doesn’t mean he won’t soon be within a heartbeat of the presidency. As the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza asked on Twitter: “Is it time to rename GOP primaries ‘the contest to become Marco Rubio’s running mate’?”

Indeed, despite his protestations, Rubio has to be on the short list of potential GOP running mates.

But the downside is that there is already a movement afoot (led by some on the fringe) to disqualify him from serving as president (which would presumably disqualify him from serving as vice president). That’s right — some are arguing that Rubio is not eligible because he is not a “natural born citizen.

Here’s how the logic works (according to World Net Daily’s Joe Kovacs): “While the Constitution does not define ‘natural-born citizen,’ there is strong evidence that the Founding Fathers understood it to mean someone born of two American citizens.”

Kovacs (and he is not alone) goes on to reason that Rubio’s “eligibility is in doubt” because — though his parents were legal U.S. residents when he was born — they were not yet citizens.

Who knows how big this thing will get — maybe it’s just a small fringe movement — but it is a “thing.”

The good news here, of course, is that the rise of Rubio birthers proves that birthers are not merely partisan hypocrites who solely attack Democrats like Obama. They are, instead, either consistent racists — or consistently misguided adherents to the Constitution.

But hey — at least they aren’t partisan hacks…

  • Anonymous

    (1) I read this: http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/09/natural-born-citizen-clause-requires.htmlthis: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2511602/posts ( posts contain vigourous debate
    this: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2511602/posts ( posts contain vigourous debate
    of both sides of this issue and discusses Blackstone.)
    this: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2518922/posts
    this: http://www.archive.org/stream/ledroitdesgensou03vattuoft#page/n37/mode/2up (Use of
    Vattels in the US)
    and this: http://www.timesexaminer.com/political/755-was-mccain-ineligible-to-run-for-the-
    presidency before posting. ALL of them quote or refer to readily verifiable, original
    documents created by, known to or used by the Founding Fathers in the preparation of our
    Constitution. Which is why I am comfortable with their research but, less comfortable, in
    some instances, with their opinions.

    (2) Our constitution contains the phrase and a reference to the “Law of Nations” in Article
    1, Section 8. See http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec8 

    (3) None of the original 7 articles of the Constitution define ‘Citizen’ or ‘natural born
    citizen’. However, even if you reject Vattels as an influence, why in the Constitution, did
    our Founding Fathers make a written distinction between ‘citizen’ and ‘natural born citizen’
    ONLY when it came to the presidency? I believe the Founders would not have made such a
    distinction unless they deemed it to be important, vital to the governing of our nation and
    in keeping with the accepted, political thought of their day.

    ‘Citizens’ may hold any other national elected office in our country. But, only a ‘natural
    born citizen’ can legitimately hold the presidency or vice-presidency. Originally that
    stipulation applied only to the presidency. However, Congress later extended that unique
    qualification to the vice president to ensure that a serving or nominated vice-president
    gaining the office would also be natural born. But again, why make the distinction?

    (4) As for “repeating what I read on the internet” elements of your reply are the standard,
    almost word-for-word arguments of those writing on the internet who advance a different point
    of view. Nothing wrong with differing – at least the way I see it… :-)

  • Anonymous

    (1) I read this: http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/09/natural-born-citizen-clause-requires.htmlthis: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2511602/posts ( posts contain vigourous debate
    this: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2511602/posts ( posts contain vigourous debate
    of both sides of this issue and discusses Blackstone.)
    this: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2518922/posts
    this: http://www.archive.org/stream/ledroitdesgensou03vattuoft#page/n37/mode/2up (Use of
    Vattels in the US)
    and this: http://www.timesexaminer.com/political/755-was-mccain-ineligible-to-run-for-the-
    presidency before posting. ALL of them quote or refer to readily verifiable, original
    documents created by, known to or used by the Founding Fathers in the preparation of our
    Constitution. Which is why I am comfortable with their research but, less comfortable, in
    some instances, with their opinions.

    (2) Our constitution contains the phrase and a reference to the “Law of Nations” in Article
    1, Section 8. See http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec8 

    (3) None of the original 7 articles of the Constitution define ‘Citizen’ or ‘natural born
    citizen’. However, even if you reject Vattels as an influence, why in the Constitution, did
    our Founding Fathers make a written distinction between ‘citizen’ and ‘natural born citizen’
    ONLY when it came to the presidency? I believe the Founders would not have made such a
    distinction unless they deemed it to be important, vital to the governing of our nation and
    in keeping with the accepted, political thought of their day.

    ‘Citizens’ may hold any other national elected office in our country. But, only a ‘natural
    born citizen’ can legitimately hold the presidency or vice-presidency. Originally that
    stipulation applied only to the presidency. However, Congress later extended that unique
    qualification to the vice president to ensure that a serving or nominated vice-president
    gaining the office would also be natural born. But again, why make the distinction?

    (4) As for “repeating what I read on the internet” elements of your reply are the standard,
    almost word-for-word arguments of those writing on the internet who advance a different point
    of view. Nothing wrong with differing – at least the way I see it… :-)

  • Carolinmd

    If it is proven that Marco Rubio is unqualified to run because of his birth issues, it will be simultaneously proven that Obama is already illegitamatly occupying the presidential seat because his father was never a natural born American cititizen, if he was ever a citizen at all.
    So, I say bring it on and let’s clear the air on all of this or once and for all.  If Rubio can’t run because of his birth status,  then Obama’s illegitimacy would be exposed and make it fair game to be forced out of offece and to step down and out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000288788084 Daniel Broadway

    You right wingers demanded to see President Obama’s birth certificate, we have a right to see  Rubios.

    What’s fair is fair.

  • July6000

    johnfromfairfax,
     
    Least you missed it, again here is what William Rawle wrote
     
    “Therefore
    every person born within the United
    States, its territories or districts,
    whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the
    sense of the Constitution”
     
    But he goes on in the same paragraph to say,
     
    “no person is
    eligible to the office of president unless he is a natural born citizen, the
    principle that the place of birth creates the relative quality is established
    as to us.”
     
    In February, 1787, Ben Franklin formed a society of some of the leaders of Philadelphia.  He called it the “Society for Political Inquiries”.   Their first meeting (John will appreciate this) was at the City Tavern and subsequent meetings were at Franklin’s home.  Franklin was elected President.  William Rawle was a member and also was on the Committee of Papers.  In fact, at the April, 1787 meeting he presented a paper titled “An Enquiry into the best means of encouraging Immigration, consistently with
    the happiness and safety of the original citizens.”
     
    Other members of the society included signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

    • Komfort

      William Rawle was a Loyalist during the revolution. Of course he interpreted the term as a British subject would have; with a bias.

      • July6000

        Wiliam Rawle’s step-father was a loyalist.  He took the family from Philadelphia to New York in 1778 (Wiliam would have been about 19).  In New York, William began to study law.  He went to London in 1781 to formally study law.  He returned to the US in 1783. 

        Had he stayed in England, he would have been very prosperous.  But he chose to return to the US.

        Once back in the Philadelphia, he started a law firm which is still in practice today (longest continous law firm in the US).  From the above post, you can see that he was readily accepted in the Philadelphia society.  He worked closely with Benjamin Rush on two different societies.  The above mentioned Society of Policial Inquiries included as members, Thomas Paine, James Wilson, George Clymer, Gouverneur Morris and Robert Morris, among others. 

        President Washington thought enough of his legal skills to appoint him the US Attorney for the District of Philadelphia.  President Washington also offered him the Attorney General position but he turned it down for personal reasons. 

        The Founders obviously didn’t have a problem with him.

        Funny thing is, if he had said that NBC required two citizen parents, you wouldn’t care one bit what his step-father believed.

        • Komfort

          I like you July6000! You are correct. I would use Rawle to my advantage, if he said that. I hate this site though. I gave up on a link to Rawle that showed he shared the loyalist view. Educated in London? That explains it.

          Take it easy. If this gets picked up at a better site, you may see me again.

          • July6000

            Take care.

            I’ll leave you with this Charles Cotesworth Pinckney signed the Constitution.  He was educated in the law at Oxford University, England.  And at Middle Temple Society, just like Rawle.

            One of his Professors – Justice William Blackstone.

          • July6000

            Komfort

            Here is a link to Rawle’s A view of the Constitution.

            Read the editor’s notes on Rawle’s life

            http://www.cap-press.com/pdf/1813.pdf

          • July6000

            Here is a book on life in New York during the English army occupation.

            Page 27 starts a description of Rawle’s time in New York.  He seemed to be mostly interested in the ladies.

            http://tinyurl.com/3zdmr3t
            At least part of his families involvement with the loyalists stems from their Quaker religion.