[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/28/art.mccain.texas.ap.jpg caption=" Sen. John McCain, talks to media in Houston, Texas."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Here's something you may not know about John McCain: He was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. His father was stationed there in the Navy.
The New York Times reports the circumstances surrounding McCain's birth raise questions about his ability to become president since our founding fathers specifically said only a "natural-born citizen" can hold the highest office in the land. The idea was to prevent foreigners from becoming president.
There's no precedent for McCain. No U.S. president has ever been born outside the 50 states. But, McCain's campaign says they're confident he meets the requirement, that they researched the question during his last run in 2000 and this time around as well. And they have asked former solicitor general Theodore Olson to prepare a legal opinion.
McCain supporter Senator Lindsey Graham says it would be incomprehensible if the son of a military officer born on a military installation couldn't run for president. He says it would mean telling every military family their child couldn't become president if born overseas.
There's been lots of internet buzz about the topic in recent months. Some insist McCain is ineligible. According to lawyers who have studied this stuff, there's confusion not just over the provision itself, but also over who would have the legal authority to challenge a candidate on such a point.
Here’s my question to you: John McCain was born outside the U.S. Should that affect his ability to be president?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jim from New York writes:
I am not a supporter of McCain's candidacy and I am a Republican and I think this issue is ridiculous. It is a perfect example of what Barack Obama calls the "silly season" of politics. Let’s spend some air time and compare McCain's health care ideas to those of Clinton and Obama and give the silly season stuff a rest!
As a military member myself who is stationed overseas, I sure would hate to think that all of the children born to service members are not considered natural-born American citizens. I think this is just another ploy against McCain because they know he is a very strong candidate and they will throw anything they can at him.
If John McCain was not born in the United States, he should not be eligible to be president of the United States, according to the plain reading of the U.S. Constitution. However, as the presidential candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul has made clear, our government has disregarded the Constitution in many areas.
I am a Barack Obama supporter, but even I find this to be not a big issue. It is true that, strictly speaking, Senator McCain was not born within one of the 50 United States of America. But at this point in the election process, it would be ridiculous to restrict a front-runner candidate from either party on such a small technicality.
Richard from Texas writes:
I definitely think John McCain should be disqualified. Rules are rules.
Texas teacher writes:
You're kidding me right? He is a natural born-citizen, since his parents are/were U.S. citizens. It doesn't matter if he "popped out" in Panama, New York, or the moon!
Kelly from Fort Worth, Texas writes:
I couldn't care less where he was born, as long as he doesn't become our next president. The more I see of him, the more convinced I am that his "regime" would be more painful to live through than the current one.