Quiet from birther quarters over who is, and is not, a natural-born citizen seems to have been sadly rather short-lived. After years of folks like Orly Taitz focusing their attention on President Obama, the birthers seem to have settled on a new target: Sen. Marco Rubio, who they claim is like totally NOT eligible to become president like ever, OMG!
Unable to prevent Barack Obama from becoming president, rigid followers of the Constitution have turned their attention to another young, charismatic politician many think could one day occupy the White House.
The birthers are calling for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the budding Republican star from Florida.
“It’s nothing to do with him personally. But you can’t change the rules because you like a certain person. Then you have no rules,” said New Jersey lawyer Mario Apuzzo.
Forget about allegedly Photoshopped birth certificates; the activists are not challenging whether Rubio was born in Miami. Rather, they say Rubio is ineligible under Article 2 of the Constitution, which says “no person except a natural born citizen … shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
The rub is that “natural born citizen” was never defined.
The birthers rely on writings at the time of the formation of the republic and references in court cases since then to contend that “natural born” means a person born to U.S. citizens. Rubio was born in 1971 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, his office said, but his parents did not become citizens until 1975.
It’s worth noting, of course, that this is not a new trend: Earlier this year, Matt Lewis indicated that Rubio birthers might be the next big development in this particular line of conspiracy theorism. Good call, Matt, but perhaps an incomplete one. It turns out that Rubio is not actually alone in the birthers’ sights (that’d be too easy, right?). They also think Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is ineligible to serve as president:
The birthers say Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose parents are from India and were not citizens at the time of his birth, is also unqualified.
In a country this size, we’re bound to have some adherents of conspiracy theories, and for some reason, conspiracy theories seem to go nicely with politics. And, well, space. Hey, seriously, why haven’t we been hearing much about UFOs or Area 51, lately?
For the record, Rubio’s office says he does consider himself a natural-born citizen, as presumably does Gov. Jindal– not that that’s likely to convince the birthers, of course.