Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Is Ted Cruz constitutionally eligible to be president?

The United States and Canada have long been close allies. But does Sen. Ted Cruz' birth in the nation to the north disqualify him as a presidential candidate?
The United States and Canada have long been close allies. But does Sen. Ted Cruz' birth in the nation to the north disqualify him as a presidential candidate?

Cleveland-based PolitiFact Ohio has the distinction of being the closest PolitiFact unit to Canada, which might explain why it received several email and Twitter messages about Ted Cruz -- the Republican junior senator from Texas who is "considering a presidential run," according to friends and confidants quoted by the conservative blog National Review Online.

"Please tell Ted Cruz he can't be president," said an email to the Ohio fact-checkers. "He was born in Canada!"

The basic biography: Cruz was born in 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, while his parents were working there. His Cuban-born father, who is now an American citizen, was not at the time. His mother was born in Delaware. The family returned to the United States when Cruz was 4.

The Constitution gives three eligibility requirements to be president: one must be 35 years of age, a resident "within the United States" for 14 years, and a "natural born Citizen," a term not defined in the Constitution.

Read PolitiFact Ohio's story, including a recap of relevant legal analysis, here.