Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks during the Sunshine Summit conference being held at the Rosen Shingle Creek on Nov. 13, 2015 in Orlando. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)"What the American people are interested in is not bickering and back and forth," Cruz told reporters before a town hall in Sioux Center that drew hundreds of people. Cruz was concluding the second day of a six-day swing through Iowa before the Feb. 1 caucuses, while Trump was holding a rally in New Hampshire.
Trump was one of the loudest voices questioning whether President Obama was born in Kenya and thus not eligible to be U.S. president. Obama is an American citizen; his father was Kenyan, his mother American. Previous foreign-born Americans — notably Republicans John McCain and George Romney — have run for president with some mention, but no serious challenges, of their eligibility. The comments mark a reversal for Trump, who in September downplayed Cruz's birthplace in an interview with ABC. "I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape," he told the network then. But Trump has been ratcheting up his attacks on Cruz in recent weeks. Trump first unleashed a verbal assault on Cruz in December at an event in Des Moines where he questioned Cruz's evangelical faith.
"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."
"I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba," he said of the country where Cruz's father, an evangelical preacher, was born. Trump didn't mention the issue or Cruz by name at a rally in Claremont, New Hampshire on Tuesday evening, but did accuse him of stealing his plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. "Then the other day I head for the first time, a nice guy, so I'm not going to mention it, but one of the candidates said, 'And we'll build a wall,'" said Trump. "I said what?" "Shouldn't he give me some credit?" he asked, returning to the issue. "Politicians do not give credit. I've just learned that over the last few months." Trump then vowed that his wall would be built better, bigger, stronger and cheaper. ___ Colvin reported from Claremont, New Hampshire. ___ Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP and find more of his work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/scott-bauer
"I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way and I understand Ted is in fine shape."
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