Another day, another baseless attack on Donald Trump. This morning’s news? Trump, according to news reports, apparently claimed Ted Cruz is not a ‘natural born citizen’ (and thus ineligible for office of POTUS). (The headlines claiming this are countless, so no need to show the images here, but here’s just one example, from a Rubio defender at National Review):
Except a 30-second Google search would show Trump said no such thing. Here’s what he actually said (per CNN).
Nowhere does Trump say HE believes Cruz is ineligible. He simply makes the point that OTHERS do (which is factually indisputable — check Twitter and there are thousands of ‘Cruz is ineligible because he was born in Canada’ folks, going back years) and that it could present a problem for Ted.
This didn’t stop the media from trying another line of attack — that Trump was contradicting himself.
But where is the contradiction there?
The Plan-C attack was “Well, Trump is bringing this up/trying to make an issue of it!” Except that’s false, too. The discussion originated during his Washington Post interview, and the Post’s own write-up concedes that the interviewer is the one who brought up the subject.
Trump-supporter and conservative pundit Ann Coulter then put out some tweets which were ALSO distorted as going ‘birther’ on Cruz. Now, it may well be that Coulter believes Cruz is ineligible (we don’t know) but, at least in those tweets, she never said either way. This is the Coulter tweet in reference, from this morning following the Trump reports:
Soon, dishonest headlines (not only continuing the falsehood that Trump said Cruz was ineligible but that Coulter had, too) made the rounds:
Now, if you have a low IQ and/or were never taught reading comprehension, you read Coulter’s tweet to mean she’s saying Cruz is ineligible. The rest of us read that tweet as it is plainly written: Coulter is criticizing the NYT (rightly so) for its (incorrect) matter-of-fact assertion that the Constitution clearly states Cruz is eligible (the truth is — and, FTR, I personally believe Cruz is eligible — that the Constitution does not clearly define ‘natural born citizen’ nor have the courts ever issued a definitive ruling. So it remains a matter of interpretation). In other words, Coulter was saying the NYT was wrong (it was) in claiming the matter is settled law — she was not making a claim, at least not in that tweet, either way, as to whether or not Cruz is eligible.
But that didn’t stop folks on Twitter from thinking they’d ‘caught’ her in a massive contradiction, comparing her tweet this morning to a 2013 tweet. This screenshot quickly made the rounds, and continues to do so. See here:
In the rush to attack Trump and his supporters, and in the rush to portray them as liars who contradict themselves, does no one at least stop to READ?