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Bloomberg Interviews Trevor Potter on Whether a Candidate Born Outside the U.S. Can Qualify for President

January 15, 2016, Bloomberg View

Trevor Potter spoke with Bloomberg View concerning Donald Trump's claim that Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to be President because he was born in Canada.  The U.S. Constitution stipulates that the President must be a "natural born citizen" of the United States.  Mr. Potter, who was general counsel of John McCain's presidential campaign where Mr. McCain's eligibility was questioned because he was born in the Canal Zone, commented "We consulted constitutional law professors [and] … confirmed our understanding that John McCain's birth -- to two American parents on a U.S. military base in a U.S.-controlled territory -- was as close to the historic English understanding of the term ‘natural born citizen' as possible." For the full article, please visit Bloomberg View's website. For additional coverage, please click here.

About the current Ted Cruz situation, he went on to say "One American parent and one foreign parent; a birth in a foreign country and not on a U.S. base; and not while the parents were in the service of the nation; dual citizenship for an entire adult life -- all of those facts are certainly different from Senator McCain's case." 

"After conducting our legal analysis of the term ‘natural born citizen' we were very comfortable with Senator McCain's eligibility based on multiple factors. Without those specific factors -- two U.S. citizen parents, birth on a U.S. base on U.S.-controlled territory -- our comfort level that the candidate met the constitutional requirement would have declined."

Mr. Potter counsels political candidates, for-profit entities, and nonprofit organizations on a variety of political law issues. He is a leading authority on lobbying regulation, government ethics and campaign finance issues, and is known nationally for his experience in compliance programs, campaign finance investigations, and questions concerning lobbying registration and disclosure, as well as federal and state ethics rules. 


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