Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Is Ted Cruz, victor of Texas straw poll, eligible to run for president?

Sen. Ted Cruz, predicted to win a presidential straw poll this week, speaks here at a New Orleans conference May 31, 2014 (Associated Press).
Sen. Ted Cruz, predicted to win a presidential straw poll this week, speaks here at a New Orleans conference May 31, 2014 (Associated Press).

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won a presidential straw poll taken at the Republican Party of Texas’s convention.

The poll, in which Gov. Rick Perry trailed, reminded us that questions have been raised over whether the Canada-born Cruz is constitutionally eligible to run for president.

PolitiFact Ohio explored that territory in a May 2013 story laying out key issues.

"Please tell Ted Cruz he can't be president," a reader said in an email at the time.

Hold on there.

The basic biography: Cruz was born in 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, while his parents were working there.

His Cuban-born father, now an American citizen, was not a citizen 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.

That lack of precision has given rise to controversy and legal challenges, but has never resulted in a definitive determination by the U.S. Supreme Court. For that reason and others, the Ohio researchers called Cruz’s eligibility legally unsettled.

Since then, Cruz has declared plans to renounce his Canadian citizenship. Those plans remain in motion, his spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, told us by email last week.

Read the full PolitiFact Ohio story here.

What else are you hearing?