Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, began the process of renouncing his Canadian citizenship, a move some experts take as an indication that Cruz will make a 2016 presidential run. By renouncing it, Cruz may be trying to get ahead of any fallout that could come with having dual citizenship.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, the freshman Republican senator announced on Saturday that he has hired a legal team to get the renunciation process started.
“I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship,” Cruz told the paper. The process is expected to wrap up next year.
Cruz might have learned that he was in fact Canadian when he released his birth certificate to the Dallas paper in August. The senator said his mother told him when he was younger that he could choose to claim Canadian citizenship if he ever wanted to. However, Cruz said he never took affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, and the Tea Party Republican promised he would renounce his Canadian citizenship altogether.
Cruz, 43, was born in Calgary, Canada, to an American mother. He told the Dallas Morning News that he doesn’t dispute having both nationalities. “Not at this point.”
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The United States Constitution doesn't prevent someone with dual citizenship from running for president. What it does say is: “No person except a natural-born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
America’s supreme legal document doesn’t define what it means to be “natural born.”
Cruz is rumored to be a presidential candidate in 2016, although he told the paper, “My political perspective is focused on representing the state of Texas.”
Republican Strategist Ron Bonjean said a move like this from Cruz shows he is getting ready to run for president.
“He wants to make sure that this issue does not come up during a presidential primary where his loyalty to the United States could be question,” Bonjean said. “He doesn’t want to be subject to attacks about where he was actually born or comes from. Frankly, [it’s] a wise idea to get ahead of it if it’s going to likely be an issue.”
The paper said the issue of Cruz’s citizenship came up last month when he met real estate tycoon and “birther” drum-beater Donald Trump, who has championed the theory that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in America. In fact, Obama was born in Hawaii.
“It is going to likely to be an issue in the next Republican primary unless [Cruz] takes care of it now or gets ahead,” Bonjean said. “It might be brought up, but he’ll have something to say about it.”