Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yes, Ted Cruz Can Be 
Born in Canada and Still Become President of the U.S.

The Calgary-born Texas senator 
is considering a bid for the Oval Office. 
Let's nip those birther questions 
in the bud right now.

MAY 1 2013, 1:23 PM ET

No one's as good at covering Congressional Republicans as Robert Costa, so if he says Ted Cruz is seriously considering a run for president, it must be true -- which is not to say that it makes sense, or that he would win.

Why is Cruz a longshot? He's a first-term senator (yes, yes, exceptions and rules, etc.). He's probably too conservative even to win a GOP primary, but particularly to win a general election: Even his backers portray him as a latter-day Barry Goldwater, only somehow able to win. In just a few short months, he has managed to consistently alienate even his Republican colleagues -- which, whatever you think of the merits of Senate courtesy, won't help in a primary campaign (although he's also vice chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee). David Frum paints a damned-if-he-can-raise-money, damned-if-he-can't scenario. Cruz even ran behind Mitt Romney in Texas last year, when both won handily. It's too early to see how the immigration bill that Cruz opposes will pan out; some Republicans fear that if it fails, the party will do even worse with Latinos, though Cruz's surname might dull the blow.

But what won't prevent Cruz from becoming president is his place of birth. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, while his parents were living there. His father is now an American citizen, but was not at the time; his mother, however, was born in the United States.

Helpfully, the Congressional Research Service gathered all of the information relevant to Cruz's case a few years ago, at the height (nadir?) of Obama birtherism. In short, the Constitution says that the president must be a natural-born citizen. "The weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion appears to support the notion that 'natural born Citizen' means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship 'at birth' or 'by birth,' including any child born 'in' the United States, the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parents who has met U.S. residency requirements," the CRS's Jack Maskell wrote. So in short: Cruz is a citizen; Cruz is not naturalized; therefore Cruz is a natural-born citizen, and in any case his mother is a citizen. You can read the CRS memo at bottom; here's a much longer and more detailed 2011 version.

This isn't the first time someone has questioned a candidate's citizenship -- and not just on bogus, Kenyan grounds. There were questions about John McCain's citizenship, because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone when his father was stationed there in the Navy. George Romney was born in Mexico to American parents, but faced no serious challenges to his bona fides in his 1968 run for the GOP nomination, though a few diehards even questioned his son Mitt's qualifications in 2012. There are birthers for prospective 2012 Republican candidates Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal, too. On the Democratic side, there's no ground for any questions about Hillary Clinton or Martin O'Malley. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is lucky to have been born in the New York borough of Queens, rather than an adjoining borough; everyone knows Manhattan isn't real America, either.

Still, questioning candidates' Americanism is a veritable trend -- and it's one that the nation could stand to leave behind. While there are more immigrants in absolute numbers in the U.S. than ever before, immigrants actually make up a smaller share of the U.S. population than during the 1890-1920 immigration wave, Pew points out. Few questions arose about presidential candidates' citizenship in those days for a simple reason: They were all old white Protestant men.* The greater diversity of candidates in both parties, reflecting more political buy-in across the ethnic spectrum, should be cause for celebration. With non-Hispanic whites making up an ever-smaller portion of the population, perhaps these birther flare-ups are the death rattle of nativism.
* Though an astute reader notes that Chester Arthur, of Anglo-Irish descent, had his status challenged during his 1880 vice-presidential bid.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Please notice the TONE of this article. How would you characterize it? ~ FT]


  1. Of course he could become the US President, He was born in Canada NOT in Kenya!
    As Hillary would say "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?"

  2. By the way.... his mother is a U.S. citizen.

  3. Doesn't much matter.
    He's too freaken crazy to be an American President, didn't we learn a lessen from George Bush?

    G Bush Sr. sold our military down the river to the U.N. and Why? Infact his father helped finance the Hitler war machine in WWII, true fact look it up. G.W. Bush well he was just retarded i think we all can agree on that, the Iraq War, and doubling national debt in two terms.

    And as for your previous blog about Hillary Clinton.... I'm waiting for you do do one about talking about Sarah Palin!

  4. Having a Bagger as an opponent is Hillary's dream.

  5. How quickly certain elements in our political culture fall over themselves to stop any controversy about Mr. Cruz's citizenship, yet they were deaf, dumb, and blind to the idiotic claims that Mr. Obama was not a citizen.

    Mr. Obama's mother was an American citizen, and Mr. Obama, unlike Mr. Cruz, was born in America.

    But all suspicion and legalistic claims melt away in the face of a possible Cruz candidacy.

    We knew it was only a matter of time before the stupid "birthers" would have their idiotic claims about Mr. Obama's citizenship come back and bite them in their posteriors once one of their darlings wanted to be president.

    La commedia è stupenda!

  6. The tone is the same as Shaw's.

    Shaw: I used to spend time at Free Republic, and the birthers went after Bobby Jindal just as hard as they did Obama.

    As the article states, Cruz probably wouldn't make it out of the primary.

    Personally, I find Cruz to be cloying and unctuous, even for a politician. I'm getting the same vibe from Rubio.

    Jindal is still my favorite, which means he is doomed. My political prognostication skills are infamously horrendous. I was a fan of Mark Sanford before he found the wormhole on the Appalachian Trail that opened up in Argentina, and I also liked Mitch Daniels.

    The GOP will end up picking another smarmy squish in 2016 and Hillary-Cuomo will walk away with it on the strength of of the recently legalized undocumented democratic voters...

    (btw, this is why I am completely bored and jaded with politics and no longer blog about it. It's more useless than discussing sports)

  7. Were you aware, Ms Shaw, that this article is from The Atlantic -- an avowedly LIBERAL publication, if ever there was one -- and that the writer, David Graham, comes across as one helluva cheeky, edgy dude.

    Graham's article was hardly intended as a puff piece on Ted Cruz, and could not be called "conservative propaganda" by even the wildest stretch of anyone's imagination.

    These mistaken impressions are what usually comes from making assumptions along with failure to read beyond the headlines.

    Shame on you! ;-)

  8. FT: I don't doubt Cruz's abilities, just telling you how he comes off, imho. He reminds me of a used care salesman.

    Jindal a weak sister? Please of investigate his accomplishments. The man has an impressive track record of accomplishments.

    Also, I must confess that Atlantic has become a favorite of mine. They do tilt leftward, but it's good journalism.

  9. You need to spend a LOT more time listening to Senator Cruz, Kurt.

    Jindal comes across as a bland little weak sister. About as dynamic as a dead mackerel.

    Rubio is still wet behind the ears and not ready for prime time. PERIOD!

    Ted Cruz is the only one who has a really fine, extremely well-educated mind. He's brilliantly articulate, witty, erudite, and straightforward, so of COURSE, the GOP would never even DREAM of choosing him as a candidate.

    Haven't you got it YET?

    The GOP has been ASSIGNED the role of GRAND CHOOSERS of LOSERS -- a part they play with relish, gusto, and joyful, unholy zeal. Damn their stupid, sullied, subverted, shriveled souls!


  10. FT: I am responding to phantom comments!

    Unlike you do at WH, however, I'm not going to crab and carp at you about it ;)

  11. I think it's very courageous of you, Kurt, to put on such an unabashed, unequivocal display of your limited powers of perception.

    Every one of us misses a lot no doubt, I have to admit, and you are no exception.

    I set great store by the way people talk -- voice, diction, platform manner, degrees of confidence and charisma -- Jindal may have accomplished a lot -- good for him! -- but he STILL comes across as a weak sister whenever he opens his mouth. Rubio has a baby face, and too much naked ambition. He seems too young, not confident enough, not all that bright, and his recent attempt to act the tough guy on immigration only made him appear pathetic and mean-spirited -- politically tone deaf.

    Cruz is hardly "charismatic," he's merely brilliant. America hates really smart people. If she didn't, we might have better representation in Washington than we do.

    I'm the perfect bellwether for defeat. If I am strongly attracted to someone, he or she is DOOMED. It's uncanny.

  12. I have no idea what you're talking about Kurt. Phantom comments? WHAT phantom comments?

  13. FT, I was not responding to the article in the Atlantic but rather to the comments at the head of this thread and to other reports of Mr. Cruz's intentions to seek the presidency.

    I find it humorous that where a politician was born and what the nationality of his/her parents are seems to be of not pressing matter when it concerns a far right candidate.

    "America hates really smart people."

    I'll differ with you on that in this respect: Only one particular political party has shown it hates really smart people.

    And that particular political party is the one that believed Sarah Palin was qualified to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. And that same party believed she should have been a candidate for the presidency. The GOP cheered and idolized her on in 2008 as its best and brightest. It made her; it owns her.

  14. America doesn't hate smart people?

    As Adlai Stevenson.

    The left love painting W Bush as dumb, even though his GPA was superior to Gores...

    And FT, if this isn't a backhand slap...

    I think it's very courageous of you, Kurt, to put on such an unabashed, unequivocal display of your limited powers of perception.

  15. Bush/Gore Grades and SAT Scores (posted March 23, 2000)

    (Updated June 17, 2005)
    Confidential college transcripts and test scores obtained by the Washington Post reveal that neither presidential candidate, George W. Bush nor Al Gore, were shining students during their college days at Yale and Harvard, respectively. Although each earned respectable scores on the SAT college admissions test (a total of 1355 of 1600 for Gore and 1206 for Bush), neither did that well in their college courses. Both earned a mix of B and C grades. Gore's lowest grade of D came in a natural sciences course, while his top grades were an A in French and English, an A in Visual and Environmental Studies, and an A- in Social Relations. Bush's lowest marks were a 70 (of 100) in Sociology and a 71 in Economics, while his highest scores were High Passes in History and Japanese.


  16. Bush had a higher GPA, and you're proving my point

  17. But that has nothing to do with who's smarter than whom. And you know it.

    If any measure does that, it is SAT scores.

  18. You enjoy arguing over trivialities, don't you?

    If you want to believe that comparing scores of two people from when they were 18 years old is a better mark of who's smarter than looking at the actual academic records (Bush: Masters Degree, Gore gave it up after trying for a Masters), then who am I to argue?

    To address FT's point, I think most everyone hate's the smarties of the other party

  19. NYA NYA nya NYA nya! NYA NYA nya NYA nya!

    NYA NYA nya NYA nya! NYA NYA nya NYA nya!

    NYA NYA nya NYA nya! NYA NYA nya NYA nya!


  20. I don't dislike REALLY smart people, but I do despise INTELLECTUAL MORONS.

  21. W Bush painted himself as dumb, the left didn't have to do anything. the fact that his stupidity was voluntary does not reflect well on him.

  22. What was the intent of the 14th Amendment? According to THIS:

    The correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby.


    The Court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of the child. To qualify children for birthright citizenship, based on the 14th Amendment, parents must owe "direct and immediate allegiance" to the U.S. and be "completely subject" to its jurisdiction. In other words, they must be United States citizens.

    More at the above link.

    How the 14th Amendment has been interpreted is a matter of some controversy.

  23. As for the SAT, I'm not sure what the results on an SAT actually prove. The SAT is but one measure of intelligence, aptitude, etc.


  24. Thank you for your commentary on the subject. Although I don’t agree with almost anything you said, I respect you to saying these things; especially after the fact that you received many negative comments. Now for MY opinion:
    It's pretty stupid to think that this Ted Cruz could even be Presidential material. And I'm sure the GOP thinks any Black man will vote for him just because of his last name. So now being born in Canada is okay, even with a Cuban father, but born in Hawaii with a Kenyan father isn't? Small minded, indeed. Stay crazy my friends, that’s why you are losing.
    These bizarre right-wingers will conjure up any byzantine explanation as to why the Constitution gives a Canadian-born candidate the right to serve as a United States president. I understand now, Obama's not a natural born citizen, because he's black, but Cruz IS a natural born citizen, because he's white. I get it. The entire “Birther” issue was just another Fake Tea Party Racism Story. And I repeat the word “ANOTHER”

    The Tea Party is group of racists old white people who cannot stand the idea of black man leading the U.S or heading the country. Most party tea party members are simply old, retired, frustrated white people who have a hard time dealing with America's changing demographics and leadership
    Let's be honest, most of the Tea party voters are angry at Obama not because of his policies, but because of his color of his skin. If they were honestly angry about Obama policies, they wouldn't have wanted to support Mitt Romney. Romney did not only believe in everything Obama is doing, he supported every one of them. From abortion, to gay marriage, Romneycare, taxes and etc, Romney held these positions and then he said was against them. But the Tea Party still wanted to vote for him anyway, well you see haw that worked out..

  25. I guess it depends on how a "Natural born American" is defined. Has this definition been changed over time from the original thinking of the Founding Fathers. Those men thought that a natural born American was one born on American soil to a mother and father who were also American citizens. The parents would not necessarily need to be born American but could have become naturalized American citizens by choice.

    If that's the definition Barrack Obama, Ted Cruz and Mario Rubio would NOT be eligible to be President of the United States of America. If Obama isn't eligible to be President does that mean that he, his media persona, and all his actions as President are but a hollow sham—null and void?

  26. Ducky reads the Daily Kook?

    That explains it...

  27. I thought the ARTICLE was interesting preciseoy BECAUSE it came form an obviously LEFTIST journal, and was written by a smoothly snide, smart-Alecky, almost snotty young leftist know-it-all.

    I happen to LIKE Ted Cruz very much, because when he talks, he makes eminent good sense, and speaks good standard, non-colloquial English, bless him. But it never occurred to me he could be considered a NATURAL-BORN American by any definition.

    I suspect this "interpretation" of the term "natural-born" is more leftist mischief -- a red herring designed to further confuse and disorient low information voters.

  28. SAT is a predictor of College freshman year grades... nothing more, nothing less. Actual grades and GPA's are a verification of them.

  29. The Daily Kook is about 1/2 a step up from the People Workers Daily.



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