Former Michigan Gov. George Romney, father of 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, was born in Mexico to American parents and sought the GOP nomination in 1968. Sen. John McCain, born on a U.S. Naval air station, earned the 2008 Republican nomination. And a few souls on politics’ lunatic fringe continue to believe President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American woman, is in fact a Kenyan and thus ineligible for the presidency, which, according to the Constitution, can only be held by a “natural-born citizen.”
Ted Cruz has taken one step closer to that unlikely collection of politicians.
Cruz, R-Texas, is a U.S. senator with designs on the 2016 Republican nomination, but, like George Romney and McCain before him, wasn’t born in the United States. Cruz’s American mother gave birth to Ted, whose father is Cuban, while she was in Canada in 1970.
Thus, Americans this week have been subjected to another round of the tiring Proof of Citizenship game. On Sunday, the Texas senator released a copy of his birth certificate in hopes of heading off most of the questions — legitimate or farcical — that might arise as he ponders his GOP candidacy.
Monday, the Washington Post pointed out that because neither McCain nor George Romney were elected president, their presidential eligibility wasn’t tested fully in the courts. The same logic applies, then, to Cruz, who “became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Dallas Morning News.
Nevertheless, the “birthers” who label Obama an usurper aren’t likely to gain much traction with Cruz’s Canadian birth, which shouldn’t be a concern. Different political parties, different circumstances.