Matt Lewis

Coming soon: Rubio ‘birthers’

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…