Ted Cruz faces ‘birther’ issue

Ted Cruz might be considering a run for the presidency in 2016.

Then again, he might not.

The junior U.S. senator from Texas still has time to ponder his future, but as any politics-watcher will tell you, the time can run out quickly. As Cruz considers whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in three years, he’ll face some questions that aren’t altogether unique to him.

His place of birth could become an issue.


Cruz recently set off a bit of a tempest when he released his birth certificate. He was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. Is he qualified to run for president? Cruz says “yes.” Constitutional scholars tend to agree, noting that Article II says only a “natural born Citizen or a Citizen of the United States” is eligible to hold the office.

Cruz says his mother’s citizenship makes him a U.S. citizen by birth. End of story … perhaps.

It gets a little complicated, though. He also is a Canadian citizen, but Cruz announced his intention to surrender his Canadian citizenship and become a U.S. citizen exclusively — which he says would clear the way for him to run for president, if that’s what he wants to do.

Does this sound familiar? It should. President Obama faced some questions during his first term in office. Critics alleged he wasn’t born in the United States, despite the president’s assertion that he was born in Hawaii — to an American mother and a Kenyan father. Obama then settled the issue on his own by presenting a birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii.

All of this “birther” discussion is certain to take away from issues that ought to matter for whomever runs for the presidency. Ted Cruz, who is no stranger to intense legal and political debate, surely will be up to the challenge.


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