The Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, has called his closest rival, Ted Cruz, “an anchor baby”, in a fresh attack against the Texas Senator’s eligibility to run for president.
During a campaign rally in Nashua, New Hampshire on Friday, Mr Trump launched the assault against Mr Cruz’s citizenship saying: “Ted Cruz may not be a US citizen, right? But he’s an anchor baby. No. he’s an anchor baby- Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada."
“Anchor baby” is a derogatory term, generally used to refer to illegal immigrants whose children automatically gain US citizenship after being born on American soil, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Intensifying his attacks on Mr Cruz, Mr Trump’s use of the term highlighted the Texas Senator’s birthplace in Canada.
Mr Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Canada, to a Cuban father and American mother - both living legally in the country at that time - is an American citizen by birth. He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014.
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Cruz campaign spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, told CNN: “The only anchor here is the one being dragged behind the SS New York Values, causing Donald Trump's campaign to stall out as voters learn about his affinity for Hillary Clinton and his previous statements supporting abortion."
The business mogul has repeatedly lambasted Mr Cruz’s Canadian birth, querying his eligibility to serve as US president.
According to CNN, Mr Trump and a small number of legal scholars have claimed the Constitution’s “natural-born citizen” requirement necessitates the President must be born on US soil. The issue has never been referred to federal court.
Mr Cruz’s campaign said the issue is resolved and the senator is eligible to run, The Wall Street Journal reports.
During the rally Mr Trump also said he made the right decision to boycott Thursday’s GOP debate in Iowa and claimed Mr Cruz “got really pummelled” in his absence.
Mr Trump said: “Actually, I’m glad I wasn’t there ‘cause I guess all of that – he got pummelled, wow. And you know they didn’t even mention he was born in Canada.
“He got beaten up pretty badly last night.”
The business mogul decided to boycott the debate after a feud with Fox News over the debate’s moderator Megyn Kelly.
Support for Mr Cruz in the Iowa GOP caucuses has fallen to 25 per cent support from 32 per cent in early January, according to polls by Real Clear Politics.
Iowa voters will being the 2016 presidential nominations process with Monday's caucuses.Reuse content