Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican whose recent travel has fueled speculation he may run for president in 2016, has released his birth certificate, showing that he was born in Canada to an American mother, the Dallas Morning News said on Monday.
The move came after President Barack Obama faced intense scrutiny from “birthers” about his eligibility to be president. Born in 1961 to an American mother and Kenyan father, Obama in 2011 released his birth certificate, which says he was born in the U.S. state of Hawaii.
The Dallas Morning News posted on its website a photo of Cruz’s birth certificate, which it said was released to the newspaper.
The U.S. constitution says that only natural born U.S. citizens are eligible to hold the office of president. Some interpret that to mean born in the United States, while others say it includes someone who is born abroad to American parents.
Cruz, 42, was born in Calgary, Canada, while his Cuban-born father was working in the energy industry there, according to the birth certificate. His mother is American born.
Cruz released his birth certificate after several recent trips to Iowa, an early presidential caucus state. A conservative elected to the U.S. Senate last year, Cruz has strong support from Tea Party activists, who seek to reduce the size of the U.S. government.
The Dallas Morning News quoted Canadian legal experts as saying Cruz is technically a dual citizen of the United States and Canada and must renounce his Canadian citizenship to be president.
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier disputed that claim in a statement to the newspaper.
“Senator Cruz 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,” Frazier told the newspaper. “To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce.”
A spokesman for Cruz did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a statement.