Ask Ted Cruz: 'Do You Agree that Barack Obama is a Natural-Born United States Citizen as Required by the Constitution?'

For some reason no reporter, no debate moderator, no one, has asked Ted Cruz (R/TP-TX) whether in his legal opinion President Barack Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen, qualified to be President of the United States.

It is an important question. And, all the other Republican leaders and candidates should be asked that question as well.

Why? For Cruz, if he cannot form an opinion, or says he does not think so, Cruz's entire case for eligibility goes up in smoke. Cruz claims that being born in Canada to a mother who is a United States citizen qualifies him. President Obama's mother was a United States citizen. Even Trump has never disputed that. Her father fought in World War II. If Cruz believes place of birth is irrelevant, just the US citizenship of one of one's parents, then he must say that Obama is eligible to be President.

He must also then say that birtherism, and specifically Donald Trump's, was a fake, phony, useless exercise. He should then be asked why he never stood up to denounce it.

But, the importance of this question goes way beyond Ted Cruz's ambitions. Republican leaders have been silent on birtherism, providing legitimacy to the racism that infects their party, threatening to destroy it, or the United States, depending on the results of the November election. If Republicans believe Cruz is their remaining chance to stop Trump, they have to assert his legitimacy, and thus they must publicly acknowledge Obama's.

Republicans cannot cleanse themselves of their racist base with one act of contrition. But, it is a start.

The irony is so thick, one can cut it: for Ted Cruz to be the "great white hope" to stop Trump, they will have to start by accepting the legitimacy not only of the first black president of the United States, but the first person of color to rule any white majority country in history.