U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday shrugged off a faux controversy about his unusual dual Canadian-American citizenship, calling it a “lot of silliness” drummed up by the media.
In an interview with Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Nation,” Cruz good-naturedly explained how a question he really never thought much about ended up becoming a mini-issue for a rising Republican star during the slow-news days of August.
His parents – his father Cuban father, his mother American – were living in Calgary, Canada, when Cruz was born in 1970. His mother’s citizenship made Cruz an American under U.S. law, and he said he never had any reason to seriously think otherwise.
“When I was a kid, my mom told me that if I ever wanted to I could affirmatively choose to claim Canadian citizenship,” Cruz told Crowley. “But I got a U.S. passport when I was in high school, I never did anything to affirmatively claim citizenship, so I thought that was the end of the matter.
“Then the Dallas Morning News ran a headline where they went and talked with some immigration lawyers that said technically I still had dual citizenship.”
Cruz said he was then asked whether he would renounce his Canadian citizenship. He said he would (though the Washington Post reports there’s more paperwork involved than a simple declaration).
“Serving as a U.S. senator, I think it’s appropriate that I be only American,” Cruz said.
And if that was taken as a sure sign of his intention to run for the presidency, he said, it shouldn’t have been.
“There’s a lot of silliness,” Cruz said. “I thought it was a reasonable question when the Dallas Morning News asked for it, so I gave it to them.”
Check out the video here:
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