Chris Matthews erroneously tells London mayor he’s eligible to be U.S. president

Chris Matthews erroneously tells London mayor he’s eligible to be U.S. president

Buttering up his February 12 guest Boris Johnson — there to plug his new book on Churchill — Hardball host Chris Matthews told the London mayor that he’s eligible to run for president, given that he was born on U.S. soil. But Matthews apparently forgot the residency stipulation in the Constitution, one criterion that Johnson doesn’t meet.

“By the way, you’re eligible to run for president… you were born here,” Matthews noted, interrupting Johnson while he was recalling why his parents gave him a Russian first name.

Johnson , born in 1964 in New York City and has both British and American citizenship. As such, Johnson satisfied two of the three constitutional requirements for presidential eligibility. But, alas, he lacks the third as he has not “been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States (Article II, Section 1, Clause 5).”

Johnson lived for about five years in the States but moved back with his family to the United Kingdom in 1969. Johnson has mostly lived in the UK since, although he did live for a time in Belgium. Assuming the Constitution’s 14-year residency requirement is cumulative — and there’s historical precedent for that one — and not necessarily consecutive, Johnson would have to establish residency in the United States and live here another nine years before being eligible to serve as president.

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