Ted Cruz battles birther issue

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:14 PM

An Editorial

We think Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas deserves a break on the question of whether he is an American citizen. He is, and a reasonable electorate would let the question drop.

But the question seems to be picking up momentum. At every stop, Cruz, who is gearing up for a run at the presidency — the U.S. presidency, just so there are no doubts, because Canada doesn’t have that position — faces questions about whether he’s really an American.

The Texas Republican, a favorite of the tea party movement, was born in Calgary, Canada, to an American mother born in Delaware, which automatically made him a U.S. citizen, and to a Cuban-born Canadian father, which automatically made him a Canadian. For what it’s worth, he has dual citizenship, even though he came to the United States at age 4 and has lived here ever since.

In theory, if his U.S. presidential run doesn’t work out, Cruz could walk a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol, pick up a new passport at the Canadian Embassy and head north to run for prime minister. This would make him terribly unpopular in both countries, but, theoretically, it could happen.

Cruz says he will renounce his right to Canadian citizenship, which entails filling out some paperwork and paying a small fee. “Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth, and, as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American,” he said. And so he should.

There the matter should rest. But the large number of “birthers” among Cruz’s tea party followers refused to give President Barack Obama the same break, insisting — sometimes even now, in the face of overwhelming evidence — that he’s a Kenyan Muslim. Now the wing nuts on the other side shout “Canadian! Canadian!” at campaign stops. Surely, that’s the first time the cry has been used as an insult.

Cruz should call Obama and thank him for running interference on the birther issue. We do worry, however, about those investigators Donald Trump sent to Hawaii two years ago to investigate Obama’s birth and who couldn’t “believe what they’re finding.” Neither could anybody else, apparently.

Will these same investigators be sent to Canada, now that winter is not far off? We doubt it. Cruz is likely safe.

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