WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz, seemingly eyeing a presidential run in 2016, calls his renunciation of Canadian citizenship no big deal, even though questions about candidates’ birthplaces have flared in recent elections.
Controversy still dogs President Barack Obama from some quarters despite proof he was born in Hawaii.
Cruz, a Texas Republican and tea party favourite, was born in Canada, to a Cuban father and U.S.-born mother. His mother’s status has allowed him to be a citizen of both the United States and Canada, but he said Tuesday in Houston, “I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American.”
Previous foreign-born Americans — notably Republicans John McCain and George Romney — have run for president with some mention but no serious challenges of their eligibility.
The chief upshot of Cruz’s announcement that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship is to suggest he’s seriously eyeing a presidential bid in 2016, and would like to settle that side issue now. Cruz is among Obama’s sharpest critics, and is vying for early national attention with another tea party-backed Senate freshman, Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Cruz is helping lead an effort to shut down the government if that’s what it takes to stop implementation of Obama’s landmark health-care overhaul.
While some “birthers” still challenge Obama’s citizenship — and therefore his right to be president —his situation is different from Cruz’s.
The son of a Kenyan father and American mother, Obama was born in Hawaii, according to his birth certificate.