Just What Does “Natural Born” Mean?

by Candace Salima, US Daily Review Contributor

Mitt Romney is so far ahead in the delegate race (Romney – 685, Gingrich – 136, and Paul – 63 NYT) the other candidates have been dropped from the national conversation, and Romney is now focusing solely on Barack Obama. And since we’ve moved to this part of the race, the VP stakes are being played by every media outlet. One name which keeps rising to the top is Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida.

Rubio is the darling of the Florida tea party, a rising political star on the national stage and a peer of Utah’s Senator Mike Lee. A strong conservative, and right on many of the issues, Marco Rubio’s name is brought up at every turn. However, I’m startled that everyone on the conservative side is ignoring one salient fact. Marco Rubio, according to the legal definition, is not a natural born American citizen. Let me explain before your heads explode.


Article II, section 1, of the U.S. Constitution states: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

The definition of a “natural born” citizen is interpreted one of two ways:

One: An individual born on U.S. soil of American parents also born on U.S. soil; and, Two: An individual born on U.S. soil.

I subscribe to the first definition because the Founding Fathers were worried about divided loyalties in a sitting U.S. president, and rightfully so. Looking at the mess we’re in today with Barack Obama, who violates the first definition of natural born citizen, on multiple counts, I can understand their concern.

In 1875, the U.S. Courts found in the case of Minor vs. Happersett

“The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also.”

By this finding, Marco Rubio is not eligible to hold the office one step away from the U.S. presidency.

In examining Barack Obama’s status, he violates this clause. This is something that the House of Representatives has refused to address. But I do not wish to see the Republican Party flaunting the law, as have the Democrats. Marco Rubio, because his parents were not born in America, does not qualify to run as Vice President, solely because he doesn’t qualify to be president of the United States of America.

Candace Salima is a radio talk show host, author, columnist, and makes her home in the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about her at www.CandaceSalima.com. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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