Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
(USA TODAY) -- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz released his birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News -- a pre-emptive strike that could help head off criticism that the Republican is ineligible to run for president.
a darling of the Tea Party movement, has been visiting early
presidential states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,
which has sparked speculation that he's interested in a White House bid.
Constitution says only a "natural born" citizen can be president. The
general rule is that anyone born overseas to an American parent is
eligible to run.
Cruz's birth certificate shows he was born in
Calgary, Canada, in 1970 to an American-born mother and, as such, is a
U.S. citizen. But The Dallas Morning News reports Cruz
also became a citizen of Canada "the moment he was born" and would need
to renounce Canadian citizenship, according to Canadian authorities and
Cruz's spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, disagrees that the senator has dual citizenship.
Cruz became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a
naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen," Frazier
told the Dallas newspaper. "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian
citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."
interest in Cruz's birth certificate brings to mind the saga of
President Obama's birth certificate. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961,
but there has been lingering doubt since his first presidential race
that he is not a U.S. citizen. Obama released his birth certificate in 2011, but some critics - dubbed "birthers" - still believe he is not eligible to be president.
sorts of questions didn't start with Obama. Arizona Sen. John McCain,
born in the Panama Canal Zone, went through this in the 2008 campaign.
In the 1960s, Barry Goldwater, born in Phoenix three years before
Arizona became a state, and George Romney, who was born in Mexico, faced
questions during their White House campaigns.