A Brief History
On February 1, 2016, candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, won the Iowa caucus. Although Donald Trump is still leading in most polls of each state and in the national poll, Cruz’s win in Iowa makes the possibility of his gaining the Republican nomination much more likely than it was a few days ago.
Which begs the question, is Ted Cruz eligible to run for President of the United States? Article II of the constitution of the United States says that to be President “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; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.”
Does Ted Cruz meet this requirement? He certainly does rate being granted status as an American citizen, since although he was born in Canada his mother was a natural born American citizen. The father of Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, however, was born in Cuba and was a supporter of Fidel Castro’s revolution. Suffering at the hands of the Batista regime, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz fled to the US in 1957, married and divorced, fathering 2 children and attending the University of Texas. The elder Cruz then married Eleanor Willson, an American (also her second marriage), and moved to Calgary, Alberta where the couple worked at their business of seismic drilling data. The elder Cruz had become a Canadian citizen, and the couple’s only child, Ted, was born in 1970. The Cruz family lived as Canadians for the 3 years before Ted’s birth, and continued to live as a Canadian family for the next 4 years after Ted’s birth.
Ted’s father left the family in 1974 and moved to Texas, but the couple reconciled several months later and Mrs. Cruz and little Ted moved to Texas as well. The elder Cruz later renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2005 and became a naturalized American citizen.
Ted’s mother was born an American citizen by virtue of being born in Delaware, and Ted by definition was born an American citizen because at least one of his parents was an American citizen at the time of his birth, even though they were living in Canada.
Does the technicality of being an American citizen make one eligible to run for President? Certainly, in cases such as John McCain who was born in Panama of American citizens (father serving in the military on assignment overseas) does indeed qualify, but is the Cruz case different? Donald Trump and others have asked the question, and it will be resolved only by a person with standing filing a Federal lawsuit challenging Cruz’s eligibility. Did Ted Cruz have a Canadian passport in his name, as has been alleged by his detractors? If so, does this fact matter?
Question for students (and subscribers): What do you think? Should Cruz be allowed to run, and allowed to serve if elected? Give us your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Cruz, Ted. A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America. Broadside Books, 2015.
LeBon, Paul W. Liar Liar Cruz on Fire: Exposing the Biggest Fraud in US Political History. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.