Ted Cruz releases birth certificate
August 19th, 2013
08:58 AM ET
10 years 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.

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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. sammieb51

    Interesting - why were his parents in Canada? Could it be that was his paren't way of getting out of paying for the medical costs? Was he dealing drugs? Was he a migrant worker? Why were his parents in Canada?

    August 19, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. kite005

    This should not be an issue just like it shouldn't have been with Obama. Oh wait, let's get Trumps opinion.

    August 19, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Drano

    I don't believe it....I think his parents were both Cuban and this is a cover up. I want to see the longform....blah blah blah blah. We should be fully ready to accept that Cruz is a citizen and he is eligible for president, and then beat him senselessat the polls based on his flawed, narcissistic and idiotic ideology. Cruz personifies the flat earth society and willful ignorance. I hope the GOP is stupid enough to put forward a loser like Cruz or Rand Paul, they can keep posturing and we'll keep winning.

    August 19, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Dr. Ben wrote:

    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:
    Seriously? This is a textbook example of right wing historical rewrites and gross distortion of the facts. The law that is being referred to here is called the "Naturalization Act of 1790". Please note the keyword, "naturalization". "Citizenship was inherited exclusively through the father. This was the first statute that ever recognized the status of natural born citizen, requiring that state and federal officers not consider American children born abroad to be foreigners."

    It is an flat out lie to state that no other laws were passed. The 1790 law was superseded by new laws passed in 1795 and 1798. It was also superseded by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This is called fact checking what a certain right wing radio host has been blabbering about today.

    August 19, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. MaryM

    If Sen. Cruz's mother applied for a Consular Birth Abroad, he is a natural born US citizen and can legally run for President . If the CBRA was not filed then he is NOT eligible to run for POTUS. One must also take into account the natural born citizenship requirements of Canada if the CBRA was not filed.

    August 19, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. skarphace

    Cruz will run. Just like the other Tea Party candidates, he loves the limelight. The more time he has to spout his rhetoric the better. This time, however, the Tea Party will not be able to blame the "lamestream media" when none of their candidates wins the Republican nomination as all their debates will be on Fox News or other conservative media.

    August 19, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. nunya

    >It has always been my understanding that one needed to be born on American soil to be eligible to be president.

    Then this is an opportunity for you to learn. Just because a baby is born when the American mother happens to be outside the territorial borders of the U.S. doesn't make the baby non-American. It is long established that such a baby has dual citizenship in both the country of the parents and the country where the birth actually took place. If someone from Detroit happens to be across the bridge in Canada when the birth happens, the baby is still American.

    The legal quibbling is over the precise legal meaning of the phrase 'natural born' and whether the arcanities of legal codes and history create two distinct subcategories of being born a citizen one called 'natural born' and one not. (The two categories basically being born a citizen because of on-soil and being born a citizen because of parents.) The answer to that question has absolutely nothing to do with what any lay person thinks 'natural born' might mean in plain English.

    August 19, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    The plain, simple truth as to the reason why he;s bit being pounded by the Right on the subject: he's Cuban. The Cuban community in this country has lived a charmed life for over 5 decades, which includes a fast -track to citizenship that no other ethnic group in the country enjoys. The Cubans are virtually the ONLY Hispanic group the GOP and the Right Wing ever accepted on any level because they have served a purpose for them, namely that of victims of Communism. A short-sighted policy that has resulted in influence completely out of proportion to their numbers.

    August 19, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. j

    um...obama was not born in America, but only the CNN liberal mush heads will believe that.

    August 19, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Mikey

    @chicago887 – "Get ready, here come all the liberal birthers! And they will be 10 times worse than the Obama birthers!"
    WRONG!!! We're just going to have a lot of fun with y'all. This subject is dripping with hypocrisy. Personally, I would love Ted Cruz to get the GOP nod. He's yet another unelectable wacky right-winger. If he runs, he'll be just another clown in the car promoting a book or raising his profile, so he can raise more $$ in the future. Too bad Republicans even use our presidential election process simply for personal gain. I know, some Dems do it to, but not as often and not as blatantly.

    August 19, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. TAK

    I see how this works. According to the GOP, a half black American is ineligible for the presidency but a white Cuban-Canadian... that's ok.

    Nevermind his birth certificate. If he can't show us his green card let's deport him back to Canada. I bet he'd change his tune on the DREAM act real quick.

    August 19, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Corey

    This might be worth making a big fuss over and annoying the Republicans but the simple fact is that Cruz doesn't have a chance of winning anyways. It would be fun to make the Republicans go through all the ridiculous crap they put us through over Obama though.

    August 19, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. perplexed

    I had a discussion with a Republican friend about the FACT that if you are born to an American citizen mother or father you are a natural US citizen–including having the right to run for president. Obama would be a natural born citizen even if he had been born in Kenya or on the moon. My friend knew, KNEW from his right wing radio Obama was not natural born.

    August 19, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. jinx9to88

    Obama is more of a US Citizen of America then Cruz is, so where are the birthers now? Pathetic Hypocrites!!!!

    August 19, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Who cares where he's from...

    He will never be President.

    August 19, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Rudy NYC


    This should not be an issue just like it shouldn't have been with Obama. Oh wait, let's get Trumps opinion.
    This should be a major issue for Cruz. According to the right wing during the 2008 campaign, McCain was a "natural born citizen" because he was "born on U.S. soil" in a military base hospital. They had even pointed out that had he been born off of the base in a local hospital, then he could not be considered to be "natural born" citizen.

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Jerome Horowitz

    Everybody knows Obama is the illegitimate some of Eleanor Roosevelt and Thurgood Marshall.
    I know it's true because I read it on the Internets!

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Data Driven


    "Why were his parents in Canada?"

    Interesting question. Perhaps CNN will do their jobs and go find out.

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Barry

    he looks white and his name doesn't sound muslim. it will be less of an issue for the birthers like Trump and he is GOP. that is all the proof the birthers need to not get excited about it.

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Peace

    I am very curious to know what citizenship does his father hold. I hear that he is a Cuban. How does he live here? Is he not supposed to be deported to Cuba? This issue of Birth Certificate is going to open up a can of worms.

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Jerome Horowitz

    Oops – that should be "son"

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. josenopy

    We are not going to let the GOP off the hook that easy. It is going to be an issue because it is time the left stop playing fair. Please let the fun began.

    August 19, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. scrooge

    According to the Constitution you must be born the United States. that does not include Canada, last i checked!

    August 19, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |

    Well, it's OK if he is Republican. No Problem, heh ?

    August 19, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Lauri

    This is all very confusing. If Ted Cruz born in Canada to a US Mother and foreign father is still a US Citizen who can run for president then why would it not be the same if Obama was indeed born in Kenya to a US Citizen mother and foreign father? I believe he was born in Hawaii but I'm just saying...I must be missing something.

    August 19, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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