Someday soon either a Democratic candidate for president or Donald Trump may very well bring up the right of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. For those who may not be aware Cruz grew up in Texas, however, he was born in Canada. (He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2013.)
Democrats are sure to remind voters of Cruz’s Canadian birth since some on the right have questioned where President Obama was born. The president is a native of Hawaii but of course we all remember that Trump lead “The Birthers,”a group of conservatives who to this day remain skeptical that President Obama was really born in Hawaii.
Cruz’s parents worked in the oil industry in Calgary, Canada, when he was born. His mother was born in the United States. His father was born in Cuba, but later became a U.S. resident. Cruz argues that because his mother was born in Delaware, he is, in fact, a “natural born citizen.”
The United States Constitution says presidential candidates have to be “natural born citizens.” But the Supreme Court has never weighed in with a definition, leaving it open to interpretation.
It’s a question that has come up before. In 2008, senators passed a resolution, making it clear, for example, that John McCain was allowed to run given that he was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone.
For the record Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both senators then, voted for it and in fact voiced their support that McCain was indeed an American.
Mitt Romney’s father George ran for the GOP Presidential Nomination in 1968 and because he was born in Mexico there were some questions about his eligibility to hold the office. Romney’s parents were U.S. residents and so nothing more was spoken about the matter. Of course it helped that he wasn’t a strong candidate and he dropped out long before the GOP picked Richard Nixon as the party’s nominee that year.
Finally, Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP nominee, was born in Arizona when it was a territory and not a state. But very few people even thought for a moment that he was not eligible to be president.
So, how long will it be before either the Democrats or Trump goes