Sen. Cruz says he'll renounce Canadian citizenship

Associated Press
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FILE - In this July 19, 2013 file photo, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to local residents during a fundraising picnic for the Iowa Republican Party in Des Moines, Iowa. Potential presidential candidates' recent burst of Iowa visits belies this reality: No one has started to do the serious spadework of preparing for a 2016 White House run in this important state. Lesser-known Republicans, on the other hand, are looking to position themselves from the outset. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has released his birth certificate showing he was born in Canada but says he will renounce citizenship from that country.

The tea party-backed Texas Republican has been mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential candidate — even though only natural-born U.S. citizens can hold the office.

Cruz says he was a U.S. citizen at birth because his mother is American. But releasing his birth certificate prompted suggestions he may hold dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship.

In Houston on Tuesday, Cruz said he'd "of course" renounce being Canadian. He added: "I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American."

Cruz called questions about his birth part of the "silly season in politics." Still, some conservatives long questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship because of his Kenyan father.