U.S. Senator Ted Cruz vows to renounce Canadian citizenship in light of ‘birther’ controversy

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Remember all the hoopla surrounding Barack Obama's birth certificate and questions about whether he was actually born in Kenya?

Well, there's another such controversy brewing, this time at the other end of the political spectrum.

Meet the junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. He's an anti-Obamacare, climate change denying, right to bear arms touting potential Tea Party presidential hopeful.

So 'un-Canadian' — except that he is Canadian, sort of.

After weeks of chatter about where he was born, Cruz released his birth certificate on Sunday. The document showed that he was born in Alberta to an American-born mother which technically makes him a dual-citizen. He lived in Canada until he was four years old.

Cruz made a statement, on Monday evening, hoping to put an end to the controversy that has spurred a lot of debate online and in newspapers south of our border.

"The Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship," he said, according to the Dallas News.

"Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. Senator, I believe I should be only an American."

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It looks like most legal scholars believe that anyone born to an American parent — even if born oversees — is eligible to be President.

But pundits and journalists suggest that Cruz's Canadian-ism could hamper his political ambitions.

"His high-standing in the GOP, especially in the Tea Party, make him a guy some say is the best chance for the Republicans to beat Hilary Clinton, the almost certain-to-be Democratic candidate, for the White House in 2016," journalist Marcos Hondro wrote for Digital Journal.

"But given that U.S. President Barack Obama was questioned about where he was born and GOPers, in particular Tea Party adherents, ranted extensively about how President Obama was not eligible to run for the White House because they said he was born in Kenya (he was not) it makes the GOP now trying to ignore Cruz' birthplace rather ironic."

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Canada hasn't had any 'birther' controversies in recent memory but dual citizenships have been an issue.

Back in 2006, when it was learned that then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion held French nationality, it triggered a nation-wide rebuke.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair also has a Canada/France dual citizenship because his wife was born in France.

But George Smith, a spokesperson for Mulcair, recently told Yahoo! Canada News that Mulcair will forgo his French citizenship if and when he becomes prime minister.

Twittersphere reacts to Ted Cruz's decision to renounce his Canadian citizenship:

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

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