Ted Cruz releases birth certificate
August 19th, 2013
08:58 AM ET
8 months ago

Ted Cruz releases birth certificate

(CNN) – As Ted Cruz's profile has skyrocketed in the last year–thanks to his election to the U.S. Senate and an attention-grabbing itinerary to early presidential voting states–the Texas Republican's eligibility for president has come under question.

Born in Canada to a U.S. mother and a Cuban father, most legal experts have said Cruz qualifies as a "natural-born citizen," a requirement for the White House job, as stated in the Constitution.

And Cruz seems to agree. He told ABC News in July that he's not "going to engage in a legal debate."

"The facts are clear," he continued. "I can tell you where I was born and who my parents were. And then as a legal matter, others can worry about that. I'm not going to engage."

But he will release his birth certificate. In fact, he already has.

The Dallas Morning News ran a story late Sunday analyzing Cruz's documents, which he released to the newspaper on Friday.

Legal experts told the paper that Cruz is not only eligible for president in the United States, he's also technically a Canadian citizen and can even run for Parliament. Unless he renounces his citizenship there, he could also obtain a Canadian passport, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The senator's office, however, said Cruz has never embraced his legal rights in Canada, a country that he left when he was four.

"Senator 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," spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the newspaper. "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."

The recent debate has invoked the controversial "birther" movement that questioned President Barack Obama's eligibility for president. He put the issue to rest in 2011 when he released his long-form birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii–though a small amount of conspiracists still maintain doubt about the president's place of birth.

Cruz will attend a GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire on Friday. Earlier this summer, he traveled to Iowa twice and stopped in South Carolina in May. All three states typically hold the first three contests in the presidential primary process.

– CNN's Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Ted Cruz • Texas
soundoff (616 Responses)
  1. Rich

    Great....Maybe cain can run as vp...

    August 19, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. svann

    A natural born citizen is someone who is born a citizen. The founding fathers didnt want someone not born citizen to naturalize and then run for president. Thats all natural born citizen means.

    The founding fathers didnt care what soil you were born on. They cared that you were a citizen from day 1 – birth.

    August 19, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. S.B. Stein

    I thought that "natural born" meant that he was born somewhere on US territory as in one of the states, possibly a military base or an embassay. Given he was BORN in Canada, I don't think that fits most people's definition of a "natural born" American.

    August 19, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Edward

    The requirement is not that the President be an America citizen. The requirement is that he be BORN IN THE USA. Obama was born ion the USA, Hawaii. Ted Cruz was born in Canada. End of eligibility.

    August 19, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Dr. Ben

    Over 200 years ago, the first generation of lawmakers after the Founding Fathers clarified once  and for all the meaning of “natural born citizen”.

    On March 26, 1790, less than two years after the ratification of the Constitution. The U.S. Congress in its first law regarding naturalization (1 Stat. 103), gave “natural born” recognition to the citizenship of children born to U.S. parents overseas: 

    "And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens."

    According to that law, being born on U.S. soil was not a necessary requirement to be deemed a “natural born citizen”, and at that time, even if someone was born in another country, he would have been recognized as a “natural born citizen” of the U.S. because of his mother's citizenship.

    That 1790 law was what lawyers call a “declaratory act”. It gave statutory recognition to the existing, age-old principle of "jus sanguinis"–citizenship is the birthright of the children of citizens.

    It is not even relevant to ask whether or not the law of 1790 was still in force when Mr. Obama was born. While the statute itself was no longer on the books, nothing in subsequent laws has replaced the declaratory provision concerning the "natural born" citizenship status of those born abroad to U.S. citizens. A positive law would have been required to overturn the interpretation made in the 1790 statute. In the absence of any redefinition of “natural born citizen” in subsequent laws, the clear intention expressed in 1790 still stands.

    Furthermore, if the repealed 1790 act were totally ignored, the absence of any positive law on the books now, would leave a legal vacuum, and the rules of judicial precedent and the Common Law would prevail, under which, since time immemorial, the principle of jus sanguinis (citizenship by birthright) is firmly established.

    August 19, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. W.

    I'll bet Donald Trump is turning over in his casino. Oh, the horror, the horror...

    August 19, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. bcrunner

    Isn't it funny that not too many from the right are commenting here... mum is the word I guess.... After we all endured nothing but conspiracies that would never end about President Obama, all we hear here is silence.....

    August 19, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. TiredOfPaying

    I can't decide which would be more amusing:
    - Cruz for President and watching the Birthers jump through hoops explaining the difference with Obama.
    - Rick Perry being an idiot and 'oopsing' some more.
    - Christie looking like a bloated whale in a bad suit.
    - Rand Paul trying to be a Liberatarian while pandering to the Republican Right for votes.
    - The Donald just being himself.
    - Palin or Bachmann proving that big knockers and a ditzy intellect are the perfect Republican women.

    I think Rand Paul would be the most amusing. His sellout for votes would be right out of Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' – compromising his 'art' to get the money and votes needed to be elected. Nothing like invalidating the entire philosophy you pretend to support (and the name you have) to get votes.

    Actually, scratch that. A Nailin' Palin/Banging Bachman ticket would be fun and would actually get my vote. ;)

    August 19, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Edward

    This would require Cruz being born at an AMERICAN EMBASSY in Canada. To be eligible to run for president, he must be born in the USA. Hint: Canada is not the USA.

    August 19, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Dano

    So the t-baggers should be totally against his eligibility to run for POTUS and President Obama can count on Senator Cruz's support the next time they claim that he isn't a US citizen?

    August 19, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. dee

    It has always been my understanding that one needed to be born on American soil to be eligible to be president. This Ted Cruz situation is indicative of just how hypocritical the far right is. They question President Obama's citizenship even though he has released his birth certificate and had it vetted by Republicans in HI then turn around and claim a person who was born on foreign soil is eligible to be President. Just another example of their 'do as I say not as I do' mentality.

    August 19, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    Legal experts told the paper that Cruz is not only eligible for president in the United States, he's also technically a Canadian citizen and can even run for Parliament. Unless he renounces his citizenship there, he could also obtain a Canadian passport, according to the Dallas Morning News.

    "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."
    ---------------------–
    Wow. Right wing fact bending is awesome. They state that Cruz is both an American and a Canadian citizen, declare that he's never renounced his Canadian citizenship, and then claim that he's eligible to be POTUS, all in the same breathe. What's amazing is that people eat this stuff up. "Oh, they said it. Our guy said it, so it must be true." He was born in Canada and lived there for a number of years.

    The Cruz camp is attempting an historical rewrite, folks. He's not a "natural born citizen" unless you change the traditionally accepted definition. Under U.S. law, Cruz is a "natural born Canadian." Don't think so? Go ask the "anchor baby" crowd.

    August 19, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Craig

    Say what? If he was born in Canada and lived there until he was 4 years old he IS NOT a natural born citizen of the United States!!! And yes .. he WAS (and may still be) a Canadian citizen. President Obama's US citizenship is crystal clear compared to that of Mr. Cruz.

    August 19, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. DC Observer

    Obama has already been elected – birther issues are no longer a story

    Cruz has released his birth records – no longer a story

    THIS IS NOT A NEWS STORY

    August 19, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. oneWayfarer

    If Barack Obama had been born in Kenya he would be a Natural Born Citizen
    Because he has a Kansas Born Mother and Kenyan born Father
    Right?

    August 19, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Data Driven

    @Furby076,

    Orrin Hatch proposed a sensible Amendment to the Constitution some years back that would allow citizens to run for President after being naturalized for 20 years. Maybe the GOP will take up the cause now that one of their own will be affected.

    August 19, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "when it does eventually come out that he was in fact born in Kenya."

    Please do hold your breath.

    August 19, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. asdrel

    So when will Donald Trump start questiong Mr Cruz's citizenship status as he has Mr. Obama's? Or is there something else about Obama that Trump doesn't like, like his having a name that is not a typical European type one, or perhaps his ethinc background that has Trump so sure Mr. Obama is not an American?

    August 19, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. tom

    We need to get Donald Trump on this right away.

    August 19, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    So, does that mean that Ted was born in a country where they have a single-payer healthcare system, and he's alive to tell the tale? I'll bet his dad ( who left Cuba long before Fidel came to power, yet considers himself an expert on left wing tyrannical regimes when he fled a right-wing dictatorship) did not mind the fact he was not slapped with a bill for having his wife give birth in a Canadian hospital. Oh, the irony is hilarious.

    August 19, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. couyon

    Cruz is too extreme for the high office of POTUS and leader of the free world. He is trying so hard to prove that he is american and in his mind being american is aligning himself with the extreme right. He has no chance of even being nominated as the GOP candidate. So, the 'birthed' thing is a mute point.

    August 19, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. tammyk tammy

    Interesting how the family values spouting GOTP chooses to ignore fatherhood when it is polically expedient. Wouldn't Cruz qualify legally as a Cuban citizen as well since his dear old dad was Cuban? In their twisted little minds, Obama's absentee Father made him automatically Kenyan, but the citizenship of Cruz's father doesn't count. If Cruz was a Democrat, the GOPT birthers would be screaming loudly in protest about his natural born ties to communist, socialist Cuba and his birth in a Canadian socialized medicine hospital.

    August 19, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. DJ in Texas

    @JPmichigan – so Obama's mother was an American citizen (just like Cruz) and father was not (just liike Cruz), so what is different. Cruz's issue would NEVER have come up if the "birther" movement had not started all this BS. If what they say is true, then McCain (born in Panama) and many children of servicemembers who are born over seas couldn't be President.

    So Cruz is eligible according to you (and I believe he is – never questioned it). Why wouldn't Obama or ANYONE who has an American parent and born outside the US be eligible??

    By the way, no one has EVER been questioned about citizenship prior to Obama. EVER.

    August 19, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Alina1

    Cruz is half Cuban? Then how come that he hates Mexicans as if he embarrassed that he is half Latino?

    August 19, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. dl

    I'm sure t-partiers would cut Obama slack if he was born in Canada just like Cruz

    August 19, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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