Ted Cruz wasn't born in America (and 9 other facts you should know about the first 2016 candidate)

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.


By ISABELLE CHAPMAN

Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first Republican to hop into the 2016 race when he announced his candidacy on Twitter Monday saying he hopes to "reignite the promise of America."

The Cuban-American Texas-bred Republican rode the Tea Party wave into Washington in 2010. He made national headlines in 2012 when he commandeered the Senate floor to speak "in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand." Indeed, Cruz spoke for 21 hours, at one point reading Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" cover-to-cover to a mostly empty Senate chamber.

In his short time in office Cruz has earned a reputation as a political pitbull of sorts. He has not shied away from criticizing his colleagues, even notoriously calling his Republican peers "squishes" in 2013. His brash style has inspired less than flattering name-calling from both sides of the aisle. Harry Reid once described him as a "schoolyard bully," while John McCain called him a "wacko bird."

But one name that is certain to follow him around throughout his presidential campaign will cast a longer shadow: Canadian.

That's right. Cruz grew up in Texas -- but he was born in Calgary.

The Constitution states that in order to run for president one must be 35 years old, have lived in the United States for fourteen years, and be a "natural-born citizen." Scholars have debated whether this rule requires a president to have been born in the United States. Cruz argues that because his mother was born in Delaware, he was American at birth and therefore "natural-born." He even went so far as to renounce his Canadian citizenship in 2014, just to be safe. ​

While many experts agree that the circumstances of his birth do likely qualify him as a "natural-born citizen," it's at least somewhat murky legal territory.

Cruz is far from the the first presidential candidate to face questions about his "natural-born-ness." Senator McCain, who ran for president in 2008, was born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was serving in the military. Mitt Romney's father George ran for office decades earlier under similar circumstances, having been born in Mexico to American parents.

If elected, Ted Cruz may not even turn out to be America's first Canadian-born president. Political historians believe that 21st President Chester Alan Arthur wasn't born in Vermont as he claimed -- but instead in Canada.

Click through above for the nine other things you might not know about the presidential hopeful.

Also on AOL:

Is Ted Cruz, Born in Canada, Eligible to Be President?
Is Ted Cruz, Born in Canada, Eligible to Be President?