Ted Cruz: intelligent and driven

NOTE: The following is compiled from information gathered from many sources across the Internet, including Wikipedia. It was updated on June 11, 2014 to include a document verifying Cruz’s renouncement of his Canadian citizenship.

Ted Cruz is the junior U.S. Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012 as a Republican, he’s been branded a rebel since he often takes positions that aggravate older, more senior lawmakers, (even within his own party). His self-professed goal is to fan the flames of conservatism lit by Ronald Reagan.

Ted CruzRafael Edward “Ted” Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, on December 22, 1970, where his parents, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson Darragh and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz were living while working in the energy exploration field. His parents had just launched a seismic-data processing business supporting oil drillers.

Cruz’s father was born in 1939 in Matanzas, Cuba and “suffered beatings and imprisonment for protesting the oppressive regime” of then Dictator Fulgencio Batista.

The elder Cruz says that when he was fourteen, he fought alongside Fidel Castro’s forces to overthrow Batista, Cuba’s U.S.-backed dictator. He was later to become a staunch critic of Castro when the rebel leader took control and began seizing private property and suppressing dissent, it was then that he learned that Castro was a Communist.

By 1957, spurred by his aversion to the Castro regime, the 18-year-old Cruz decided to get out of Cuba by applying to the University of Texas. Upon being admitted, he got a four-year student visa at the U.S. Consulate in Havana and moved to Austin, Texas to study at the University of Texas.

I came to this country legally,” Cruz’s father says. “I came here with a legal visa, and … every step of the way, I have been here legally.

He arrived in Austin knowing no English and with only $100 sewn into his underwear. He worked his way through college as a dishwasher, making 50 cents an hour, subsequently earning a degree in mathematics.

His younger sister fought in the counter-revolution and was tortured by the new regime. He remained regretful for his early support of Castro, and emphatically conveyed his feelings to young Ted over the following years.

Today, Cruz’s father is now a pastor in Carrollton, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He became a U.S. citizen in 2005.

Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, in a family of Irish and Italian descent. She was the first person in her family to attend college. She earned a degree in mathematics from Rice University in Houston in the 1950s, while working summers at Foley’s Department Store and Shell Oil. She later worked in Houston as a computer programmer at Shell.

She was four years older than Rafael Cruz when they met. He had two daughters from a previous marriage who spent summers with the couple.

The couple moved to Canada, and co-founded a seismic-data processing business, supporting the oil exploration that was enjoying a boom there. Ted was born three days before Christmas in 1970 in Calgary, where his parents’ were living at the time.

Three years later, while living in Alberta, a slump hit the price of oil and Raphael and Darragh sold their business. They separated shortly thereafter and Raphael moved back to Houston. Six months later, in 1974, Darragh also returned to Houston, though they remained estranged.

Cruz was away at Princeton University when his parents’ second business foundered and they later divorced. “The oil industry had really taken a dive and they had gone bankrupt – they lost everything when oil tanked,” Cruz said.


As Ted was growing up, “he was very curious and very determined,” his mother recalled. It wasn’t until Ted was well along in grade school, though, that Darragh grasped he might be intellectually gifted.

She chauffeured him to a series of private and church-related schools. Some were far from home. They included Montessori and Southern Baptist institutions, as well as a school that he recalled had many Jewish students and another, the Awty International School that his mother said enrolled children of French diplomats.

I wasn’t that aware that he was precocious,” Darragh said. “He was my only child.”

Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas, (a small city of 15,000, about 30 miles west of Houston) and later graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston as valedictorian in 1988.

After high school, he enrolled in Princeton University.

While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was also named U.S. National Speaker of the Year and Team of the Year (with his debate partner, David Panton). Cruz was also a semi-finalist at the 1995 World Universities Debating Championship.

Cruz earned his A.B. in in Public and International Affairs and graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1992.

He’s a person of strong opinions,” said Robert P. George, a jurisprudence professor who was Cruz’s mentor at Princeton. “But he’s a person who earns his right to his opinions by understanding the best arguments on the other side.

Ted Cruz thesis-index

click image to enlarge

Cruz’s senior thesis was on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels” and drew its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

NOTE: I’ve included an image of the Table of Contents of Cruz’s senior thesis here. I did find a source for the contents, but they were only cellphone camera images of the pages and so many were illegible, I chose not to include a link here.

Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and the last two items in the Bill of Rights offered an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.”

After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995. While at Harvard Law, Cruz was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.

Referring to Cruz’s time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.” Cruz was a “terrific student,” “He was always very active in class, presenting a libertarian point of view. He didn’t strike me as a social conservative, more of a libertarian.”

He had brilliant insights and he was clearly among the top students, as revealed by his class responses,” “Without a doubt he is among the smartest students I’ve ever had… I’ve had great students but he has to be at the top of anyone’s short list, in terms of raw brain power.” Dershowitz added.

It’s going to be rather difficult for his detractors to paint Ted Cruz as “dumb” or a “knuckle-dragger,” when a noted liberal like famed Harvard Law School’s Alan Dershowitz has such high praise for Cruz’s brainpower.

After college

Cruz served as a law clerk to J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1995 and William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996. Cruz was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.

After Cruz finished his clerkships, he took a position with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, now known as Cooper & Kirk, LLC, for almost two years from 1997 to 1998.

Less than a year into his practice, Cruz took the lead role in arguing Ford Motor Company’s appeal in a customs dispute before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He won.

In 1998, Cruz served as private counsel for Congressman John Boehner during Boehner’s lawsuit against Congressman Jim McDermott for releasing a tape recording of a Boehner telephone conversation. Boehner eventually won the case.

Cruz joined the Bush-Cheney campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser, advising President George W. Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.

Cruz assisted in assembling the Bush legal team, devise strategy, and draft pleadings in the Florida and U.S. Supreme Courts during the 2000 Florida presidential recounts, winning twice in the U.S. Supreme Court.

After President Bush took office, Cruz served as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department and as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Cruz serves Texas

Ted Cruz in DCOn January 9, 2003, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appointed Cruz to the office of Solicitor General of Texas. At 33 years old, he was the youngest solicitor general in American history. Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008.

The following year, Cruz accepted a teaching invitation by the University of Texas School of Law and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching U.S. Supreme Court Litigation from 2004 until 2009.

Cruz has authored more than 80 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court.

Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court: “We ended up year after year arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights.”

In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz drafted the amicus brief signed by attorneys general of 31 states, which said that the D.C. handgun ban should be struck down as infringing upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Cruz also presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In addition to his victory in Heller, Cruz has successfully defended the constitutionality of Ten Commandments monument on the Texas  State Capitol grounds before the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 5-4 in Van Orden v. Perry.

Cruz authored a U.S. Supreme Court brief for all 50 states successfully defending the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, winning 9-0 in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow.

Cruz served as lead counsel for the state and successfully defended the multiple litigation challenges to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan in state and federal district courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 5-4 in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.

Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt by the International Court of Justice to re-open the criminal convictions of 51 murderers on death row throughout the United States.

During his time as Solicitor General of Texas, Cruz was widely viewed as one of the top constitutional litigators in the country, and in 2010, was named as one of the “25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century” by the respected weekly newspaper Texas Lawyer. Several other publications, namely, Chambers USA, Legal 500, and Law 360, referred to him as one of the top appellate litigators in the country.

Private Practice

After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, he worked in a private law firm in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, often representing corporate clients, until he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator in 2013. At Morgan, Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice.

At the firm, he successfully represented FedEx Home Delivery against the National Labor Relations Board in the District of Columbia Circuit on the issue of whether truck owner-operators are independent contractors or employees.

Disclosures show Cruz has earned $1.5 million to $1.7 million annually representing about 30 major corporations as a partner at Morgan Lewis, specializing in so-called “high stakes” corporate appeals.

Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator

Cruz’s election to the U.S. Senate has been described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.” On January 19, 2011, after U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would not seek reelection, Cruz announced his candidacy.

In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee; Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState; the FreedomWorks for America super PAC; nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; Tea Party Express; Young Conservatives of Texas; and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey.

Ted Cruz and Sarah PalinHe was also endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, George P. Bush and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.

Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst. In the November 6 general election, Cruz faced Democrat Paul Sadler, an attorney and a former state representative from Henderson, in east Texas. Cruz won with 4.5 million votes (56.4%) to Sadler’s 3.2 million (40.6%) to become Texas’ junior senator; John Cornyn is currently the state’s senior Senator. Two minor candidates got the remaining 3% of the vote. Cruz got 40% of the Hispanic vote.

Political positions

Cruz is a gun-rights supporter. On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening that they would filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require additional background checks on sales at gun shows.

On April 17, 2013, Cruz voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment. Republicans successfully filibustered the amendment by a vote of 54–46, as 60 votes were needed for cloture.

Cruz also supports a federal definition of marriage and opposes same-sex marriage.

He favors building a border wall, boots on the ground and greater militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. He is also opposed to the Dream Act.

Regarding foreign policy, Cruz has stated that America had no “dog in the fight” during the Syrian civil war.

He believes that much of federal government – including the U.S. Dept. of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts and the IRS – should be abolished to pay down national debt.

He is against UN Agenda 21, a scheme Cruz says was originated by George Soros. In case you’re unfamiliar with Agenda 21, know this: Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and Harry Reid are for it – need I say more? Here is a link to more about Agenda 21.

He has stated that he believes that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in this country.

In an interview with the Texas Tribune Cruz labeled Social Security a “ponzi scheme” and outlined a three-step plan to gut the program. Cruz would raise the Social Security retirement age, cut future benefits, and implement a George W. Bush-style plan to privatize much of the program.

Selected Senate Votes

  • S. 744 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, Cruz voted “Nay” with 31 others. Cloture invoked.
  • S. Amdt 1197, Required the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border, Cruz voted “Yea” with 38 others. Amendment rejected.
  • S. Amdt 711, Establishes Regulations for Assault Weapons, Cruz voted “Nay” with 59 others. Amendment rejected.
  • S. Amdt 714, Limits Firearm Magazine Capacity, Cruz voted “Nay” with 54 others, Amendment rejected.
  • S. Amdt 715, Required Background Checks for All Firearm Purchases, Cruz voted “Nay” with 45 others. Amendment rejected.
  • S. Amdt 719, Authorizes Reciprocity for the Carrying of Certain Concealed Firearms, Cruz voted “Yea” with 42 others. Amendment rejected.
  • S. Amdt 139, Prohibits the United States From Entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, Cruz voted “Yea” with 52 others. Amendment adopted.
  • S. Con Res 8, Budget Continuing Resolution, Cruz voted “Nay” with 48 others. Joint resolution passed.
  • S. Amdt 66, Temporarily Freezes the Hiring of Nonessential Federal Employees, Cruz voted “Yea” with 53 others. Amendment rejected.
  • S. Amdt 30, To Prohibit the Use of Funds to Carry Out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Cruz is a sponsor of this legislation.
To see all of Senator Cruz’s   votes, click on Project Vote Smart.

A Few Cruz Quotes

Cruz said: “We need to return to the framers’ vision of a constitutionally limited federal government,” he said. “Unchecked government power always threatens liberty.”

He is also fond of a quote from the curriculum he studied at the Storey Free Enterprise Education Center: “Government is never a source of goods. Everything that government gives you; it must first take from you.”

To sum up Cruz’s philosophy in one sentence, he says, “I will go to my grave with Ronald Wilson Reagan defining what it means to be president.”

Is Cruz qualified to be President?

This question is already at the forefront of any discussion of Cruz and his possible presidential aspirations. The immediate knee-jerk reaction of those who are in the “anti-Cruz” camp is that he was born in Canada and based on that alone, is ineligible. But that’s simply an uninformed statement and the ineligible part isn’t necessarily true.

The Constitution defines three requirements to be President: one must be 35 years of age, a resident within the United States for 14 years, and a “natural born Citizen.” Cruz fulfills the first two requirements easily.

The only questionable area is the term “natural born Citizen.”

The qualifications to be President of the United States are set out in the Constitution, at Article II, Section 1, clause 5:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been Fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Ted Cruz - census showing his moms birthdate

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The majority of legal and historical opinion queried so far, is that Cruz would be eligible since he was a U.S. citizen at birth, given that his mother was a U.S. citizen who had lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years at the time of his birth.

At left is a page from the 1940 U.S Census showing Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh (at age 5) living in New Castle, DE and proving that she was a U.S. resident for more than 10 years when he was born in 1970. See line 79.

Since the final arbiter, the U.S. Supreme Court, has never ruled on this particular issue, we must turn to the Congressional Research Service  for the next best thing, an impartial, nonpartisan, legal opinion from the most authoritative and unbiased source (short of the U.S. Supreme Court). Let’s see what the CRS has to say.

In case you aren’t familiar with the CRS, they are a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress and work exclusively for the United States Congress. They provide policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. The CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan.

CRS reviewed the natural-born issue in a November 14, 2011 report based on questions relating to President Obama’s qualifications. Coincidentally, the 53-page report also covers Cruz’s situation. It concludes that someone born abroad to an American parent could legally qualify to be president. You can read the full report (.pdf) here.

Here is an excerpt from the CRS report that highlights a major difference between the circumstances of Senator Cruz’s birth and that of president Obama, as it relates to the natural-born qualification:

The importance to some in arguing that President Obama was born outside of the United States is that, given that the President’s father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of the President’s birth, the federal laws then, in 1961, would have required for citizenship “at birth” of one born outside of the United States to only one citizen-parent, that such citizen-parent have resided in the United States for not less than ten years, at least five of which were after the age of fourteen (8 U.S.C. §1401(a)(7)) (1958 ed.), a requirement that the President’s mother, because of her age, would not have met.

The statement that covers Cruz’s specific situation concludes:

“The weight of more recent federal cases, as well as the majority of scholarship on the subject, also indicates that the term ‘natural born citizen’ would most likely include, as well as native born citizens, those born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents, at least one of whom had previously resided in the United States, or those born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent who, prior to the birth, had met the requirements of federal law for physical presence in the country.233

233  See now 8 U.S.C. §1401(a) – (h). Under current law, at 8 U.S.C. §1401(g), a person born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent would be a citizen at birth if that parent had resided in the United States for at least five years, two of which were after the time the parent was 14 years of age.

The CRS’ findings are nonpartisan and represent a legal opinion, but they’re also nonbinding.

It does appear, however, that Cruz was a dual citizen of both Canada and the United States. Canada considers anyone born in Canada since 1947 a Canadian citizen and he is a citizen of the U.S. based on his mother being a U.S. citizen.

He has said that if it is true that he also is a Canadian citizen, he will renounce his Canadian citizenship.

In order to renounce his Canadian citizenship, a simple statement is not enough. He’ll have to complete an “Application to Renounce Canadian Citizenship” and pay a $100 fee. The application (barring any issues), typically takes about four months to process, after which he will be sent a “Certificate of Renunciation.”

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Cruz released his Canadian birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News on Aug. 18, 2013.

Following is an image of the document verifying his renouncement of Canadian citizenship. He announced the completion of the renouncement process to the Dallas Morning News on June 11, 2014.

Cruz Canadian citizenship renunciation document

Ted’s family

Ted Cruz and family 01Cruz and his wife, Heidi Suzanne Cruz (née Nelson), have two daughters, Caroline Camille and Catherine Christiane, ages five and two. A live-in nanny cares for them, said Ted’s mother, Darragh. She lives in the same condo complex in Houston, and helps out.

Cruz’s wife is a heavy-hitter in her own right.

She is the Region Head for the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. She leads 40 professionals responsible for over $14 billion in investments for clients throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Colorado.

In the 1990s, Heidi worked as an investment banker in New York, focusing on Latin America mergers and acquisitions and structured finance. In that capacity, Heidi was involved in advisory engagements and capital markets transactions for some of the largest energy companies in the Americas.

In the public sector, Heidi served in the White House as the Economic Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, under then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice; as the Director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department; and as Special Policy Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, then-U.S. Trade Representative.

Her publications include a book chapter entitled “Expanding Opportunity Through Free Trade,” a book chapter in EXCHANGE RATE POLICIES FOR EMERGING MARKET ECONOMIES, and a Harvard Case Study, “American International Group”.

Heidi received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a Masters of European Business from Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Claremont McKenna College.

She is currently a member of the Texas Business Leadership Council and serves on the board of the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts European Art Sub-Committee, the Advancement Board of the Yes Prep Public Schools of Houston, the Advisory Board of Living Water International, and on the Advisory Board of the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College in California.

NOTE: I’ve endeavored to verify all information contained herein, however if you find some element that you believe to be false or misleading, please respond with evidence showing what is claimed to be false or misleading and if the evidence is convincing, I will update or remove the incorrect data.


Categories: Political


57 replies

  1. Two documents still needed to prove citizenship: marriage license of Cruz sr and Wilson in U.S. before moving to Canada and any documents in Canada (green card, citizenship records of same.


    • His parents don’t have to be married. For crying out loud.


      • Natural Born,,, It is more than Citizen at birth, It is citizen by Soil and by Blood with no other allegiance possible. Therefore no other citizenship possible, it is natural in nature without man-made law.

        Cruz is NOT constitutionally eligible to be president, whether his parents were married or not. because of his foreign birth AND because his father was not a U.S. citizen. Only his mother was. Ted is a “naturalized by congressional statute” citizen, not a natural born citizen.


  2. He will make a great president! I have been watching him since he first came to attention! He has always fought for the people!


    • Agreed mercify, he has a long record of supporting the Constitution and he is a REAL conservative. Most of his opponents CLAIM to be conservative, but most can’t even spell it. I’m praying that he is our nominee. Thanks for your comment!


  3. Here is the legal explanation of Ted Cruz’s birth status and eligibility to be POTUS from the Harvard Law Review Forum: http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/03/on-the-meaning-of-natural-born-citizen/.


  4. I believe that he is elegible to be POTUS, based on current statutes, but the question keeps coming up: Did he mother renounce her US citizenship in the time she lived with her husband in Canada? I can find no citation and it’s really frustrating.


    • Kathie, I’ve seen no evidence that Cruz’s mother renounced her citizenship when she lived in Canada – in fact, I’ve never heard anyone ask that question before. It’s pretty well unanimous that Ted is qualified for the presidency – else his opponents (both Republicans and democrats) would have already crucified him on that issue by now.


      • If Cruz’s mother attained and exercised Canadian citizenship at that time, it was at a time when the U.S. did not legally allow dual citizenship. Therefore, if she became a Canadian citizen, I think she implicitly renounced her American citizenship. I can’t find any proof that she became a Canadian at that time though. Does such exist? Ted Cruz would have something like dual citizenship until an age when he would be legally entitled to choose one or the other which he, evidently, never did. It appears that his parents were quite ignorant of the law at that time as was Ted until quite recently according to these accounts (I mean, how could he not know he was Canadian?)


      • Jason, I haven’t seen any evidence that Cruz’s mother renounced her American citizenship nor anything indicating that she (legally) became naturalized as a Canadian citizen. Apparently, Ted was a dual citizen all of his adult life and just didn’t address the issue (apparently never HAD to) until time to run for POTUS. I’m sure that he just never spent any appreciable time on the subject of his Canadian citizenship prior to that.


  5. Why have we never seen a U.S. birth certificate for Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson, Ted Cruz’s mother? The fact that his own Canadian birth certificate states that she was born in Delaware isn’t sufficient. The Canadian birth certificate doesn’t even identify the informant who provided that information.


  6. Arguments for Cruz’s eligibility depend on the false equivalence between “citizen at birth” and “natural-born citizen.” Cruz is at best a citizen at birth, although as far as I know his mother’s citizenship at the time of his birth has not be verified. The term “citizen at birth” is from our naturalization laws, which describe how non natural-born citizens become naturalized.
    In other words, the naturalization laws cited at best only show Cruz was likely naturalized at birth.
    Not eligible.


  7. People can’t really be serious that they want a crude, loudmouth, egomaniac for President over a man like Ted Cruz. Hard to believe. They obviously have not made themselves aware of the different distinctions of the two. Cruz is talking a return to legal Constitutional government, Trump is selling pie in the sky with no way to bake and deliver those celestial pies. Cruz is a humble and honest man. Trump never misses an opportunity to blow smoke up his own hind end, always telling how wealthy and successful he is. Nothing wrong with success, it’s an admirable trait, but if you are actually, personally, successful you don’t have to toot your own horn
    The question of Cruz’s eligibility has been settled before he became a candidate. I thought the laws governing such would also refute Obama’s claims (even though I do believe he was born in Hawaii), but the question of residency of the mother seems to be adequate. So those who say that Obama was born in Kenya and inelligible would be right IF that were the fact of his birth. Nobody detests Obama more than I, but I do believe he was born in Hawaii.


    • Thanks for the comment Tom. As you may have noticed, I’ve not been posting here on PT lately. I have been busy posting on Hardnox & Friends (over 400 posts in the last year) (http://hardnoxandfriends.com/ and it’s hard to come back here and duplicate a post – even though it’s just a cut/paste. I would urge you to join us at Nox & Friends where we have a bunch of conservative writers banging away daily. I certainly agree with your assessment of Ted Cruz and you should know that he’s a favorite there as well. Again, thanks for visiting and drop by ‘Nox & Friends and say “hello”!


  8. “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” This what I was taught in 1958 in Civics class in high school, long before there was anything known as “right-wing extremists”. Obama has never been eligible because his father was not a citizen. Likewise, Cruz, Jindal and Rubio are not natural-born citizens and are not eligible, either. I like Cruz, but he isn’t eligible. Jindal and Rubio were both born in America, but their parents were only green cards holders, not citizens when their sons were born. Be careful what you wish for. Cruz, Jindal and Rubio might make wonderful presidents, but to allow them to run, will eventually allow for another Barack Obama, or worse.


    • Thanks for your comment Sandy. But, I have to ask, did you read the “Is Cruz qualified to be president” section? Legal scholars and the CRS have weighed in and in the absence of the Supreme Court making a determination, the consensus is that Cruz IS eligible. There’s been no final (read: Supreme Court) decision defining “natural born” and what you were taught in high school does not constitute a legal decision. We’ll have to wait and see now, with Obama being somewhat of a precedent, I think it’s likely that Cruz, Jindal, and Rubio will be judged to be eligible.


      • Since O.J. got away with killing Nicole, I guess it’s all right for other men to kill their ex-wives, also, huh? Did he set precedent?
        I suppose that all of us who were taught what the Founders meant by natural-born citizen will have to die off to make you and yours happy. Cruz is NOT eligible and neither are Obama, Jindal and Rubio! I have no agenda. I am a conservative Republican and always have been, but those of you who willingly go against the Constitution will regret it some day.


      • That’s called a straw-man argument, Sandy and bears no parallel to the “natural born” issue whatsoever. How can you blindly accept “what you were taught” as adhering to the Constitution? Until recently, I would have guessed that the term “natural born” to mean born of two American citizens. Right or wrong, it being interpreted differently today and we live in the NOW, not in our dreams. You’re so sure of what was meant by the term in the Constitution, please identify your source for it – understanding that “what you were taught in high school” doesn’t qualify as proof. Where, in the words of the Constitution, is “natural born” defined? Where, in the writings of the founding fathers, is it defined? Your high school civics textbook and/or teacher literally don’t count as proof.


      • Sandy, while I appreciate your tenacity, you’re beating a dead horse. Mr. Ramsay’s opinion, while admittedly a learned one, is just one opinion. If you really want to get deeply into the pros and cons (as I did in writing about the question) you might want to read this extensive (and I do mean extensive) research into all of the evidence (including Ramsay’s) here: http://people.mags.net/tonchen/birthers.htm
        This is a question that will ultimately require a Supreme Court ruling. Until that’s done, some people won’t be satisfied no matter which path is taken regarding Cruz, et al.


      • I was curious where the interview with the mother came from. Can you provide a reference? Also, Here is a link to the law at the time of his birth. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86757.pdf That is a government document where citizenship is figured. Look at page 16 of 69. 7FAM 1133.2-2

        The father says in and NPR interview that they lived in Canada for 8 years, leaving in 1974. That puts them in Canada in 1966, four years before Ted was born. The law at the time stated that the mother had to be physically present in the US 10 years before the birth. Please note the law is referenced to a US citizen and a foreigner since Cruz’ dad took Canadian citizenship instead of US at the time. And that is only if they were married. She doesn’t ever state that they got married or that Cruz had divorced in your story. The rule for unmarried is even shorter, 1 year physically in US before birth. The timeline does not indicate that she was in the US prior to his birth. pg 26/69 section c. (c).

        The father’s interview: http://www.latinorebels.com/2013/06/20/senator-ted-cruzs-dad-tells-npr-that-he-bribed-his-way-into-the-united-states/ He says they got married before they went to Canada. He on the other had was married and had two daughters; the youngest born in late 1962. So he had to have divorced between 1962/3 and 1966 and married Eleanor before they moved to Canada in 1966.

        Canadian law states that the foreign child had to be registered with the US Embassy otherwise they are Canadian citizens by birth. The reason being that Canada will not leave a person “stateless”. The US Embassy has these rules. http://canada.usembassy.gov/consular_services/birth-abroad.html

        Though I am not a lawyer or judge, I do know how to read and understand. So short of further documentation from the mother and father regarding divorce, marriage and proof of residency in the US before he was born, then it really looks on the surface that Cruz is not a US citizen.


    • I was taught more than a few things in HS Civics that have turned out to be not totally true. Maybe you were, too.


  9. Great article. Ted Cruz 2016!


    • Thanks for dropping by Josh. You might be interested in a Presidential Poll we’ve done over at Hardnox & Friends. I do spend most of my writing time there now since the volume of readers is much greater (we’ve had over 6.5 million visitors this year). Here’s a link if you’re interested: http://hardnoxandfriends.com/. Ted is running second to Rick Perry right now. We asked each voter to select six (out of a field of ten) to see who the voters would prefer, so it’s not a voter voting for a single candidate. So that only means that Ted places second among the (up to) six votes cast by each voter. You should go there and vote! I like me some Ted Cruz too!


  10. Greeting, I am United States Senator Rafael “Ted” Cruz and this is
    My Manifesto… by adrien nash nov. 2014


    • My humble apologies Adrien. I haven’t visited this post for some time (obviously) and I completely missed your comment. I just visited your site and loved what I saw. I hope that you’re keeping it fresh – I have not kept Pesky Truth up-to-date since I started writing at ‘Nox and Friends – a blog with a much larger readership than my own meager one. I’d be interested in sharing information from time to time, if you’re interested. Just respond here.


  11. Ugh! This is maddening. His mother’s name is Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson. Darragh is her maiden name and Wilson is her married name. That Wikipedia article has the names turned around. Also, I love that you included a copy of the 1940 census yet you continue to repeat that ridiculous story about Eleanor Darragh being the second youngest of 17 children. That isn’t true as you can see on the census – her parents are 33 and 27 and she’s 5. Where are the other 15 kids? As for Cruz’s citizenship situation, everyone is assuming that his mother was married at the time of his birth. It’s important because in 1970 un-wed American women could not confer citizenship to a child born on foreign soil. That didn’t change until 1986. Soooo the real question here is when did they divorce their spouses and when did they get married. If she wasn’t married at the time of his birth, then Cruz would have to be naturalized. Meaning he would have to go through the process et al. It’s not unheard of as many people assumed they were Americans because they did not know the dirty details of their parents’ engagement or non-engagement.


    • Thanks for visiting PT Sara. I’ve been unable to verify the “youngest of 17 children” so I just deleted that part of the statement. I don’t understand your statement relative to Cruz’s parents being married. You say that everyone is “assuming” that Eleanor was married at the time of his birth – do you have information that she wasn’t married? Or is that just a “what if” question? At any rate, thanks for dropping by and commenting.


      • No. My point is that when you claim American citizenship through the mother there is an extra burden. For children born before 1986 the mother must also prove she was married to the birth father at the time the child was born. We don’t need to see his birth certificate but we do need to see a marriage certificate which no one has been able to find. Couple that with the fact that both parents were married to other people when they met you have to wonder when or if they ever married. Rafael Sr. had to divorce his wife, Mrs. Wilson had to divorce her husband and then they had to marry one another before December 22, 1970 in order for “Ted” Cruz to be an American citizen. Otherwise “Ted” would have to be naturalized. This was never a question with President Obama because we always had his parents’ marriage certificate. There doesn’t seem to be one for Cruz (also no divorce records for either parents from previous spouses) . As marriage certificates and divorce decrees are a matter of public record it should be easy to verify but no one (myself included) has found any evidence and without it Cruz isn’t a citizen because in 1970 out-of-wedlock mothers cannot confer citizenship on a child born outside of the US.

        Thank you for removing that piece of “information”. I wonder how that story ever got started.


  12. I realize that this is just a blog and not a paid publication or college paper, and it is wonderfully informative, but you should really consider citing your sources for the benefit of your readers. In fact, there are several places on here where you appear to have lifted entire paragraphs verbatim from Mr. Cruz’s Wikipedia article without due credit (e.g., “After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008…”). I checked the revision history of the Wikipedia article to confirm the contributions appeared there first, rather than here first. That kind of uncredited borrowing is unquestionably plagiarism, and for that I say shame on you!


    • You are absolutely right Jason and I should be chastised for not crediting Wikipedia, but cut me some slack – as you correctly said, this is JUST a blog and what I do is gather information from a myriad of sources and coupled with my own take on the subject, produce a final piece that satisfies me – as far as my subjective opinion of what might interest others may be. So, while I do OFTEN credit other sources, I normally don’t worry so much about Wikipedia. In some cases, I’ve taken sizeable content from other sources and do credit them. Over 3,000 people have read that Cruz piece and I doubt that any of them associate it with “Garnet92” so as far as my gaining anything positive out of it, forget it. I did it so that some could gain the same information that I gathered without having to visit as many sources as I did in publicizing it.


  13. Rafael “Teddy” Cruz is an awful being and a nihilist of the lowest order!This bunch of hypocrites will be the ruination of America.


  14. Thanks so much, garnet92, for the work you did. I’m also looking forward to your article on his negatives if you should end up doing one. He definitely seems to possess powerhouse intellect, and also seems to be a natural competitor. If he continues and gets to an even larger stage, he has a tough haul. A leader knows not only where he wants to take the people, but also how to bring them along. Where he wants us to go is very far from where we are now, and has not been seen in such a long time. Thankfully Reagan’s work provides a a foundation for him. I’m back and forth about God, but the forth side is praying that he continues to amaze me. Long live individual freedom. I believe Reagan once said that once an entire generation does not know freedom, it will vanish. Thanks again for your work. One other thing, I have seen very little written about his mother, just some life stats and her math/computer background.


  15. Thanks for all the vetting legwork, garnet92. Muchos gracias!


  16. Well done. Heck, his 2016 campaign should use it word-for-word!


  17. I have great admiration for Senator Ted Cruz. I supported his candidacy and I voted for him. I would like to see him run for the Presidency. However, I am troubled by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Minor v Happersett that “a natural born citizen, as opposed to a native born citizen, is someone born on the soil of the United States of two parents, both of whom were citizens of the United States at the time of the birth of the subject person.” That seems like an insurmountable obstacle for Ted Cruz, much to my regret.


    • abyssum, like you, I admire Senator Cruz and being a Texan, also voted for him in the 2012 election. While (as you probably know) the Supreme Court has never defined the term “natural born citizen,” there have been numerous other legal opinions which do appear to believe that Cruz IS qualified to hold the presidency. Following is a brief quote from the last paragraph of the CRS study of the matter in 2011:

      “The weight of more recent federal cases, as well as the majority of scholarship on the subject, also indicates that the term “natural born citizen” would most likely include, as well as native born citizens, those born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents, at least one of whom had previously resided in the United States, or those born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent who, prior to the birth, had met the requirements of federal law for physical presence in the country.”

      While the final authority is still the SC, it does seem that he will be judged to qualify if he chooses to run.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!


      • While I’m not a fan of Cruz, I believe he is certainly eligible to be President based on everything I’ve read about the requirements. My niece & nephew were born in the U.K. to a mother who is a U.S. citizen and a father who is a citizen of the U.K. They were considered citizens at birth according to the U.S. embassy. As they will never have to go through a naturalization process, that makes them natural born citizens due to their mother being a U.S. citizen who was born here and eventually moved to the U.K. at the age of 28 after marrying a citizen of the same.

        The b.s. about needing 2 citizen parents was never brought up until the obsessive far RW’ers were trying to find a reason, any reason, to remove President Obama from office. If there had been any truth to this alleged new rule they’re trying to peddle, the GOP would have brought it up when they vetted PBO after he gave the 2004 Democratic Convention speech. It’s time to stop this nonsense.


      • Thanks for visiting akrnc. I agree that there never was any legal or constitutional validity to the “both parents” claim, that was something dreamed up by extremists on the FAR right. I believe Obama was born in Hawaii and any faction whose position depended on his being born in Kenya, in my view, was misguided. As I understand your niece and nephew’s situation, it sounds like it falls within the interpretation I included in the piece with them being “citizens at birth” as well.

        I proudly admit to being a conservative, and a Cruz supporter, and I read well over a hundred articles about (or including) Cruz and most of them had some reference to his eligibility. Where an opinion was offered by some legal “expert,” they overwhelming believed Cruz to be eligible. Of course, the Supremes haven’t handed down a decree (yet) so he still could be deemed NOT eligible. The CRS is a pretty reputable source and they think he’s ok.

        I believe that questioning Cruz’s eligibility is just a smoke screen – those taking that position really haven’t done any research on the subject – either that, or they’re intentionally lying in an attempt to smear him.


  18. That was a great read. Thanks for putting that together. No doubt a ton of work. Kudos to you.



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