Rafael Edward ‘Ted’ Cruz presents himself as a conservative, Constitutionally-minded, Evangelical-friendly presidential candidate.
Indeed, he is a Southern Baptist.
He also won the Iowa Caucus.
Iowa Caucus 2016
Cruz siphoned votes from retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Was it CNN’s fault for tweeting that Carson wanted to return home to Florida giving rise to the rumour he was dropping out of the race? Or does fault lie with a prominent Iowa Cruz supporter who tweeted the rumour, causing Cruz’s Iowa workers to spread the word among Carson’s supporters that their man was dropping out, so they should change their votes to Cruz? Carson said he was only returning home for a change of clothes, nothing more.
Magnanimous in victory, Cruz apologised to Carson after the caucus votes had been tallied. Not surprisingly, the Carson camp feels hard done by. And they were. The Hill talked with Carson supporters on February 3:
Carson’s close friend and adviser Armstrong Williams told The Hill in an interview on Wednesday that the Cruz campaign’s tactics were “nasty, brutal and deceitful.”
“We’ve been told all along that Cruz’s operatives play dirty and were capable of this stuff, but Dr. Carson never believed it, he felt like they had a respectable operation,” Williams said. “Now we see firsthand that having integrity just doesn’t matter to them. It’s about honor and character, either you have it or you don’t” …
Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, was at one of the precincts where the person speaking on Cruz’s behalf told voters that Carson was out …
Carson is giving a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday afternoon to address the matter.
Donald Trump has seized on the controversy to claim that the election was stolen from him.
Karl Rove correctly predicted that the Cruz camp’s manoeuvre would also cost Donald Trump the win in Iowa (emphasis in the original):
Now the gap between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is 6,239 votes. There are 1,500 precincts. Do the math… If that message cost Carson four votes per precinct to switch to Cruz, then Cruz beats Trump. If he doesn’t switch four, then he loses.
On February 3, Trump wanted the result nullified and a second round of voting, accusing Cruz of voter fraud. He also tweeted that Cruz’s team sent out ‘voter violation’ certificates to ‘thousands of voters’. Trump rightly took the opportunity to get a pithy jibe in about it at the next Republican debate.
Perhaps Cruz honestly didn’t know that this was taking place at the time. Who knows? However, the fact that this unethical move moved the Iowa result to him shows that his team are not above dirty tricks.
This also begs the question of what sort of person Ted Cruz is. It is difficult to imagine a devoted God-fearing Christian allowing this sort of thing to happen, especially towards a fellow candidate who has no political experience and is an underdog. If he was aware of it, biblical morality and Christian ethics dictate that he should have put a stop to it immediately, including issuing an apology before the vote, not after.
Natural born citizenship status
Then there is the question of whether Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen of the United States.
Read any political blog and the reader’s comments on the topic and you’ll find four strongly-held positions on what constitutes a natural born citizen. This has been going on since 2008, when the present incumbent was running for election. In the end, it was Donald Trump, as late as 2011, who finally managed to get Barack Obama to put a copy of his original long-form birth certificate on the White House website.
Obama’s camp drove it into everyone’s head by verbal force and insults that only one parent needed to be a US citizen, in his case, his mother Stanley Ann Dunham. In any event, they added, Obama was born in Hawaii, which is US soil, so there was no problem. Those who held to the prevailing principle — up to then — that both parents had to be American citizens at the time of a child’s birth in order for him or her to be considered a natural born citizen. The last time a controversy like that arose was over Chester Arthur’s father’s citizenship status in the 19th century. That, too, was quickly kicked into the long grass at the time.
Certainly, questions have arisen over presidential candidates since then. Some, like Barry Goldwater (1964) and George Romney (Mitt’s dad, 1968) were grandfathered in as the territories where they were born became part of the southwestern United States after their birth.
More recently, the Senate had a hearing on John McCain’s natural born status in 2008 and decided that he was as his parents were both natural born Americans and that Panama was under US control at the time of his birth.
However, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio — also presidential candidates in 2016, although Jindal once again dropped out — are not natural born American citizens. Their parents were not American citizens at the time of the candidates’ births, even though both Jindal and Rubio were born on US soil.
A case could be made that Ted Cruz is not natural born, either, even if his mother is American.
Ted Cruz’s intriguing citizenship situation
This is Ted Cruz’s mother’s birth certificate. Her name was Eleanor Darragh.
This is Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, issued by the Department of Health in Edmonton, Canada. Note that his mother had her name recorded as Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson.
In his book A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America Cruz explained that his mother married an American, Alan Wilson, in 1956. The couple moved to London in 1960 for Mr Wilson’s work as a mathematician.
McClatchy DC did a lot of admirable investigation and managed to interview Alan Wilson in London. Please read the article and share it with your Cruz-supporting friends.
In his book Cruz claims the couple had a child in 1965 — Michael Wilson — who died of cot death. The trauma of it, he says, caused the marriage to dissolve.
Alan Wilson remembers circumstances very differently. By 1965, they were already divorced: Wilson thinks in 1963 (emphases mine below):
Wilson, floored to learn that he was mentioned in Cruz’s book, said, in a bombshell of his own, that the account is not accurate: He was not the father of the baby.
“We were divorced and she was living on her own,” said Wilson. He said that Eleanor asked him if she could use his last name on the birth certificate. When Michael Wilson later died, he said, “I hadn’t even met the baby.”
Alan Wilson said by chance he and Eleanor Wilson were being treated in the same hospital when she was pregnant when a nurse told him “his wife” was there – startling the Fort Worthian. “I didn’t know she was pregnant. We were definitely divorced.”
Asked what went wrong, he said, “Marriages don’t always work. It wasn’t because of infidelities or anything like that.”
Now, admittedly, Cruz trusted his mother to tell him the truth about baby Michael. She did not relate the story to him until he was an adolescent.
Another intriguing fact is that Wilson was unaware Eleanor used his family name on Ted’s birth certificate:
Told that Eleanor had used his last name on Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, Wilson said, “I see. That’s interesting.” Pressed to say how he felt about it, he said, “I don’t have any feelings about it.” He later wondered, “Why did she do that? Maybe she’s adopting that name for no reason.”
After little Michael’s death, Eleanor returned to the United States. She met Rafael Cruz, a Cuban national, there and the two married in 1969. They then moved to Canada, where Ted was born in 1970. Cruz Sr became Canadian in 1973.
The family moved to Texas in 1974.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D., a retired US Army Reserves colonel, says that a Cruz spokeswoman says Eleanor recorded Ted’s birth with American officials in 1986 so he could get a passport for his class trip to England. He also states that this CRBA — Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America — has not been released as part of Cruz’s candidacy vetting:
no CRBA has been released that would verify that Ted Cruz was registered as a U.S. citizen at birth.
Sellin believes that Cruz did not enter the US from Canada in 1974 with the right paperwork. At age four, that would have been Mr and Mrs Cruz’s responsibility. However, I went to Canada several times from the United States in the 1960s and 1970s and all one needed was a US or Canadian birth certificate at the time.
Then there is the question over Cruz’s citizenship as an adult. It is incredible that a Princeton-educated, Harvard Law School magna cum laude graduate would not have thought about the issue prior to running for the US Senate in 2012. Seriously?
Cruz claims that when he was a child, his mother told him that she would have to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship for him, so his family assumed that he did not hold Canadian citizenship. In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship, he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.
In January 2016, suit was brought seeking a judicial determination as to whether Cruz should be disqualified as a presidential candidate on the grounds of not being a natural born US citizen. After Donald Trump repeatedly questioned whether Cruz met the qualifications of being a natural born citizen, Houston attorney Newton B. Schwartz Sr. filed suit in Texas, claiming that “This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court… Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now.”
Too right. Americans should be up in arms about this, but most could not care less.
As Sellin says:
The fact that it is still an open question at this stage of the Presidential campaign is a testament either to the galactic ignorance of our political-media elite or their willingness to place political expediency ahead of the Constitution and the law.
Even assuming a CRBA was filed, the weight of the legal evidence indicates that Ted Cruz is a naturalized U.S. citizen because he was born outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. and obtained U.S. citizenship by an Act of Congress (Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution). As a naturalized citizen, he is not eligible for the Presidency (Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution).
It is disturbing to this writer that, Ted Cruz, a man who claims to be a “principled conservative” and a staunch supporter of the Constitution, should be so opaque about his personal history and unwilling to release his records.
The inadvertent omissions
Cruz also failed to disclose full financial reporting in two instances during his 2012 Senate run:
After Time magazine reported on a potential violation of ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings during the 2012 campaign, Cruz called his failure to disclose these connections an inadvertent omission.
In January 2016, the New York Times reported that Cruz and his wife had taken out low-interest loans from Goldman Sachs (where she worked) and Citibank, and failed to report the nearly $1 million in loans on Federal Election Commission disclosure statements as required by law. Cruz disclosed the loans on his Senate financial disclosure forms in July 2012, but not on the Federal Election Commission form. There is no indication that Cruz’s wife had any role in providing any of the loans, or that the banks did anything wrong. The loans were largely repaid by later campaign fundraising. A spokesperson for Cruz said his failure to report the loans to the FEC was “inadvertent” and said he would be filing supplementary paperwork.
So it appears that it is up to everyone else to vet Ted Cruz and figure out what else is shadowy or has been inadvertently omitted.
This is why it is so important for Christians to exercise discernment about the candidates they vote for.
Many say, ‘Well, politics is worldly and doesn’t concern me.’
Then an ‘Evangelical’ candidate comes along and they rush in to vote for him. As if the ‘Evangelical’ label is truthful just because the media and the candidate say it is.
Don’t be hoodwinked by what a candidate claims to be or how the media are representing him (or her).
Super Tuesday is quickly approaching — and other primaries before then. Use your Spirit-given gift of wisdom to investigate before voting.
And for those who aren’t concerned about natural born citizen status, what about prominent people who are citizens of other countries but have one American parent or were born in the United States?
Jordan’s Prince Hamzan bin Al Hussain has an American mother. Should he consider running for the presidency of the United States?
There could be all comers. Indeed, as we know, there already are.
Ultimately, the people decide — at the ballot box.
Check your vote at the ballot box before registering it. If your candidate does not show as per your vote, please contact an election official.
Your future, your children’s future and the future of your country depend on it.