Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has battled allegations his entire presidential campaign that he is ineligible to run for the White House because he was born outside the U.S.
While the most vocal critic has been rival candidate Donald Trump, it now appears that Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is joining the fray … albeit unintentionally.
In an effort to push forth the message that Cruz can unify GOP voters, his wife on Saturday referred to the Texas lawmaker as an immigrant during an Indiana campaign stop.
“Ted is an immigrant,” she said. “He is Hispanic. He can unify this party."
The comment was quickly corrected by Cruz’s campaign staff, which said that his wife meant to say that the Texas senator is the son of an immigrant, but it was not quick enough to pass by Trump’s ears.
The GOP front-runner, who has for months been questioning Cruz’s citizenship, pounced on the comment during an interview with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera.
"Heidi Cruz — nice woman," Trump began. "She said this one: 'My husband's an immigrant!' He's an immigrant! That's what I've been trying to say!'"
Trump, who centered much of his campaign on a hardline stance toward immigration, also did not buy Cruz’s campaign’s job at trying to clear up Heidi Cruz’s words.
"She was maybe trying to put a Latin turn on it," Trump said. "He was born in Canada, folks!"
Cruz was born in Calgary to a Cuban father and an American mother. He relocated to Texas with his family when the senator was just four years old.
The fact that Cruz was born in Canada has been a constant source of annoyance for his campaign, as he has been forced to fend off attacks not only from Trump over his eligibility to run for president but also from number of private citizens who have filed lawsuits to have his name removed from the ballots in certain states.
Courts in a number of states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Texas have all agreed with Cruz that he is “indeed a natural born citizen within the contemplation of the Constitution” and eligible to run for president.