Grace Poe: Hindi ka nag-iisa

SPYBITS - The Philippine Star

After questioning the birthplace of then-Senator Barack Obama during the 2008 US presidential campaign, independent candidate Donald Trump is at it again – this time, going after Republican rival Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz was born in 1970 in Calgary, Canada where his parents – an American mother and a Cuban father – were working in the oil business at the time. Warning that Cruz could get into a legal tangle that could waste a lot of his time, Trump said this citizenship issue could become problematic as more people are looking closely, with some even planning to take the issue to court.

Trump seems to have shifted gears, having said earlier the birthplace issue involving Cruz had been “checked out by every attorney every which way” and it seems to be “fine.” Obviously, the tune has changed following a surge in Cruz’s numbers in the Iowa polls, which will herald the GOP caucuses this February. Observers have noticed the similarity between the case of Ted Cruz and the situation of Senator Grace Poe who was emerging as the frontrunner in various surveys when the citizenship issue started to surface.

According to the US Constitution, only a “natural born citizen” could be eligible for president, but law scholars are in agreement the description of a “natural born citizen” also covers the foreign-born children of US citizens. Under American law, any person born to an American is granted US citizenship no matter where he is born. Cruz’s mother is an American while his father is a Cuban preacher who acquired US citizenship in 2005. Cruz had dual citizenship until 2014 when he renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Supporters of Cruz point to previous presidential candidates who were born abroad – among them the late Michigan governor George Romney who was born in Mexico, and US Senator John McCain who was born in Panama. Both Romney and McCain also ran for president but no serious questions were attached to their citizenship.

The attacks against the Texas senator have, in fact, been escalating – a sign the other candidates are “panicking,” said Cruz. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is also eyeing the presidency, twitted Cruz’s foreign policy stance while Rick Santorum, another Republican hopeful, mocked his rival’s reading of a Dr. Seuss classic during a 2013 filibuster-like speech on the Senate floor.

“Politicians behave a certain way when they are panicking. And they engage in personal attacks… I understand that. I am not going to get drawn into that muck,” Cruz said in an interview, adding Americans are more interested in getting real solutions to problems that beset the US, not “a bunch of silly attacks from Washington politicians.” 

Obama’s tearjerker

US President Barack Obama started the year with an emotional, tear-filled announcement that he will initiate several measures to curb the gun violence that has cost the lives of many Americans, among them elementary and high school children who were victims of rampage shootings.

According to data from CNN, over 400,000 Americans have been killed by firearms from 2001 to 2013, a big number of them kids. Many can still recall the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 when a 20-year-old gunman shot and killed 20 schoolchildren and six school employees, reviving the debate on gun control. 

Wiping tears from his face, the US president said he would come out with a 10-point plan to tighten gun control, including a requirement for more thorough background checks since the existing laws have so many loopholes that allow the sale of guns to just about anybody online or even from flea markets. According to reports, millions of firearms are sold every year from small sellers who do not need to register as gun sellers. Reports say sales even increased following the Sandy Hook massacre, with gun makers making a killing with over $362 million in profits.

Gun groups like the National Rifle Association criticized Obama’s plan, saying it could be open to abuse. Critics also panned Obama’s tears, labeling it as drama since he has been known to cry on occasion like the time when he delivered a eulogy for Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

Many,  however, say they were not crocodile tears, with Obama recalling the many kids and teens who were deprived of their “inalienable right to life” because of the shootings, among them the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 by two senior students who murdered a dozen students and a teacher.  Later investigation showed the students’ 9mm guns and 12-gauge shotguns were bought by one of their friends at a gun show.

Others say Obama was probably crying out of frustration, knowing he will leave his office with none of the measures being passed in Congress. Following the Sandy Hook massacre, Obama outlined 23 executive actions for reforms on gun ownership, but these were thumbed down by the Senate. To this day, nothing has happened. He is realistic enough to know the reforms “won’t happen overnight; it won’t happen during this congress; it won’t happen during my presidency.”  

Long after he leaves his office though, Obama had better be careful and tighten his security because he has angered a lot of Americans who say these “unconstitutional” orders curtail their right to protect themselves and make them more vulnerable to criminals, and are enraged the US President said gun owners are a bigger threat than terrorism.


Email: [email protected]


vuukle comment












  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with