Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was born in Canada but is qualified to become president should he mount a campaign in 2016 or beyond.
Cruz was born in Calgary, and his father is from Cuba. But the Republican senator’s mother is from the first state of Delaware, which appears to settle the issue.
Government officials didn’t exactly have to scramble for the information amid speculation the firebrand freshman senator was contemplating a presidential run and might be ineligible, considering similar questions about President Obama’s birth prompted the Congressional Research Office to compile a 2009 report to try to resolve the issue.
The 14-page report by the non-partisan office’s legislative attorney Jack Maskell essentially states the Constitution sets out three eligibility requirements to be president: one must be at least 35, a resident within the United States for 14 years and a “natural born citizen.”
The report states "the weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion appears to support the notion that 'natural born citizen' means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship 'at birth' or 'by birth,' including … those born abroad of one citizen parent who has met U.S. residency requirements."
However, Maskell points out in an expanded, Nov. 2011 memorandum “there is no Supreme Court case which has ruled specifically on the presidential eligibility requirements, although several cases have addressed the term ‘natural born’ citizen. And this clause has been the subject of several legal and historical treatises over the years, as well as more recent litigation.”
Cruz has excited the Republican Party’s conservative base during his first five months in the Senate – while annoying moderates – by opposing everything from Obama Cabinet nominations to the bipartisan Senate immigration bill.
The 42-year-old Cruz has yet to publicly announce his intentions, but in front of a microphone he talks mostly about big-picture national issues, with most of the presidential buzz coming from supporters.
“I’ve been in 25 cities in the last few months, all I have to do is mention Ted Cruz’s name, and they stand up and cheer,” former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said at a state party dinner earlier this month. “They’re hungry for someone who’s not afraid, willing to stand up and trying to change the status quo.”
Obama’s eligibility was questioned by a group of people labeled birthers because they though his Hawaii birth certificate was fake and that he was born in Kenya. His mother was from Kansas and his father from Kenya.
Others have faced similar questions including Obama’s 2008 presidential opponent Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.
McCain was born on a military installation in the Panama Canal Zone where his mother and Navel officer father were stationed. And George Romney, father of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was born in Mexico but still ran for president in 1968.