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Ted Cruz chooses to be an American

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas is now officially American and only an American, having gone through the hoops that are necessary to renounce his Canadian citizenship, according to a Wednesday story on CNN. Cruz had recently discovered that he held dual American and Canadian citizenship, thanks to having been born in Calgary to an American mother. He had assumed until recently that he did not have Canadian citizenship since he had never done anything to affirm it.

He explained the matter to Fox News commentator Megan Kelly.

"As you know, I was born in Canada. My mother was an American citizen by birth and so under U.S. law, I’m a U.S. citizen by birth. I had been told as a child I did not have Canada citizenship because I had to affirmatively claim it. I discovered in the last year that was incorrect that in fact, I had both. And so, when I was made aware of that, it struck me that serving in the U.S. Senator, representing 26 million Texans, that I should be an American and only an American. So I made the decision to renounce my Canada citizenship and that has been happened -- that has happened.”

The fact that Cruz was born in Canada led to a curious form of birtherism in which his Americaness was called into question. It is not secret that Cruz harbors presidential ambitions. But is he a natural born American as the Constitution stipulates a person needs to be to run for president? According to Politifact, the overwhelming weight of legal opinion states that Cruz is a natural born American and thus eligible to run for president. However some believe that the only way to make certain is to have a Supreme Court ruling.

The revelation that Cruz was both an American and a Canadian citizen was, to say the least, awkward. Cruz immediately went through the process to renounce his Canadian citizenship on the idea that any American elected official should be only American. There can be no hint of dual loyalties, even where a friendly country on America’s northern border is concerned.

That doesn’t mean that the matter won’t come up again, especially if Cruz runs for president. There is a story told about the writer and philosopher Ayn Rand, who had immigrated from Russia to the United States. When she was campaigning for Wendell Willkie, the Republican who was running against Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, a heckler called into question her own American identity as she had been born in Russia. She shot back, “That’s right. I choose to be an American!” Now Ted Cruz can make the same boast.

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