Cruz stumbles as he runs from Canadian citizenship

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Why is Sen. Ted Cruz, who by all appearances might run for president in 2016, suddenly running from the Canadian citizenship that is his birthright?

If it’s because of the silly notion that dual citizenship — he was born in Calgary, which automatically makes him a Canadian, but his mother’s U.S. citizenship makes him a U.S. citizen too — somehow diminishes his qualifications for president or harms his electability, it’s a waste of time.

If it’s because he doesn’t want to be that closely linked to Canada in voters’ minds, you have to ask why he thinks so little of Canada or of U.S. voters.

And if it’s because he really believes there’s something to the “birther” nonsense that some people persist in using to question President Barack Obama’s claim to the job Americans elected him to twice — well, if that’s the reason, Cruz might be the wingnut that some people say he is.

All of this cropped up over the weekend because The Dallas Morning News published an article, complete with an image of Cruz’s birth certificate, pointing out that Canadian law and the circumstances of his birth make him a man with two countries.

At first Cruz disagreed, saying his family left Canada for the U.S. when he was 4 years old, and because he never pursued Canadian citizenship, he thought the issue was dead.

But on Monday, he issued a statement pointing to the Morning News story and saying, “Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship.”

He continued, “Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth, and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should only be an American.”

How is renouncing Canadian citizenship not against Canada? What’s the reason to slap a close neighbor and trading partner so that people will see you as “only” an American?

Maybe Cruz is not the golden boy he has been taken to be since his remarkable Republican primary victory last year over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, once thought to be the anointed next senator from Texas.

That victory showed Cruz to be an amazing campaigner, and his ability to stay in the political spotlight ever since has been quite a feat. But maybe he also makes mistakes.

Running from Canada is a mistake.

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