Ted Cruz Proves He's All-American, Will Renounce Canadian Citizenship

While he hasn’t exactly been coy up to this point, Senator Ted “McCarthy” Cruz made it abundantly clear today that he’ll be running for president in 2016.

The pugnacious junior senator from Texas, who was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father, released his birth certificate today, apparently an attempt to quash any Birther conspiracy theories before they get off the ground. The certificate shows that, because his mother was American at the time of his birth, Senator Cruz is indeed a United States citizen. Case closed, right?

Wrong. The paper to which he presented his birth certificate did some digging, and found out that being born in Canada automatically gives you Canadian citizenship (a whopper of a revelation). Cruz, then, is a dual citizen.

“He’s a Canadian,” Toronto lawyer Stephen Green told the Dallas Morning News. The paper noted that, if he so desired, the Senator could run for Canadian parliament or enter a Canadian embassy without issue.

Cruz responded by announcing that he’ll renounce his Canadian citizenship.

Given recent military skirmishes between US and Canadian forces, it’s understandable that Cruz would want to avoid association with America’s northern neighbors, but taken in totality, it’s hard not to view this whole episode as a series of preemptive steps on Cruz’s part to ensure he’s viewed as constitutionally eligible to be the Commander in Chief.

The Constitution states that only “natural-born” citizenships can be president. The problem, of course, is that “natural-born” isn’t defined, and so it’s open to interpretation.

The issue comes up more often than you’d think for presidential contenders. For example, John McCain was born on an American military installation in the Panama Canal Zone. Barry Goldwater was born in the Arizona territory before it was incorporated into the U.S., and George Romney was born in Mexico to American parents.

None were ever elected president, of course, so the issue of their eligibility never came up, but given the recent hoopla over President Obama’s citizenship — which, incidentally, is actually entirely unambiguous — it makes sense that Cruz, if he’s running for president, would try and nip the issue in the bud early on.

If he isn’t running for president, he presumably just doesn’t like Canada very much.

UPDATE: Reuters reports that the process of renouncing Canadian citizenship takes about eight months, and that citizens wishing to do so must "explain in writing why they do not want to be a Canadian anymore." We're endlessly curious as to what Cruz's explanation will be.