Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced Monday evening that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship, less than 24 hours after a newspaper pointed out that the Canadian-born senator likely maintains dual citizenship.
"Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship," Cruz said in a statement. "Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I'm an American by birth and as a U.S. senator; I believe I should be only an American."
The Dallas Morning News wrote in a story posted late Sunday night that Cruz likely remains a Canadian citizen, by virtue of being born there to an American mother. Having never renounced that citizenship, Cruz was technically a Canadian and an American citizen, according to legal experts.
Cruz said his mother told him that he could claim his citizenship if he ever wanted to, but that he never pursued it and thought the matter was settled.
Legal experts say that Cruz is a Canadian citizen regardless of whether he asked for it or not.
"Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter," Cruz said.
Cruz, who released his birth certificate as part of the Morning News story, accused the media of focusing on trivial issues.
The release -- combined with Cruz's recent travel to Iowa -- has reanimated the debate over whether he qualifies to serve as U.S. president since he was foreign-born. Most legal scholars say yes, but they also say it's not 100 percent clear.
"Given the raft of stories today about my birth certificate, it must be a slow news day," Cruz said.