Top Presidential Historian says Ted Cruz not eligible to be president

Could Ted Cruz, born December 22, 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, be Constitutionally ineligible for the presidency?  If he were alive today, one of America’s most distinguished presidential historians, J.J. Perling, would say yes.  We know that because he made that very judgement about another very distinguished American who was in the pipeline for the White House.  He made it in the book, The Presidents’ Sons: The Prestige of Name in a Democracy, published in 1947 by The Odyssey Press, New York. (p. 30)

Now, before we get started with this extraordinary tale – and it is an extraordinary tale – let me offer a few disclaimers. I served for several months last year as a Senior Adviser to Senator Rand Paul. I have great admiration for Senator Ted Cruz and I am writing this story only as a student of history. It has been my pleasure to personally interview six presidents and first ladies. I have been a personal adviser to two American presidents.  It has been my pleasure to have been in the homes of several of them before, during and after their presidency.  And my wife and I have hosted presidents in our own home on three occasions.  I coauthored a book with a president and have written about all of the presidents and all of their parents and all of their children.  I can tell you that the issue of who is and who is not a “natural born citizen” is not as easily resolved as it may seem.

Yes, we know that Senator John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone. His father was serving in the U.S. military. And yet he ran for president.  And we know that Ted Cruz,like McCain, was born to a mother who was an American citizen and that McCain’s father was also an American citizen. The father of Ted Cruz was Cuban. But there the comparison ends.  In 2008, with the McCain issue relevant, both Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a Senate bill to assure McCain’s eligibility. The resolution declared, “John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘natural born Citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.”

Currently, Senator Cruz has no such congressional protection. And worse, he has built a rogue reputation by thumbing his nose at the Senate establishment of his own political party.

Now, here is the tale.  It is just one example from history, the story of another, would be president, who was disqualified over the so called “birther issue.” You can read the story in its full detail in my book All the Presidents’ Children.

He was born on the 4th of July.  He graduated from Harvard University and studied law under Daniel Webster. His name was George Washington Adams.  Both his father and grandfather were presidents of the United States.  Yet, according to the belief of legal experts at the time he could never be president himself.  Why?  He was born in Berlin, Germany while his father served in the American diplomatic corps as the U.S. Minister to Prussia.

Keep in mind, both his mother and father were U.S. citizens.  His father would soon become Ambassador to the Court of St. James.  He would become Secretary of State and not just any Secretary of State, but the one who would craft and conceive of what became known as the Monroe Doctrine, the most enduring foreign policy position in American history.  He would later become the sixth president of the United States and his mother, Louisa Catherine Adams, would become one of our greatest First Ladies.

John Quincy Adams ruled his son’s life from a distance, sending letters ordering every moment of the day.

Louisa, the mother, took great solace in the fact that her firstborn, George, would not have the pressure of presidential expectations.  He couldn’t.  Their correspondence reveals their belief that the Constitution did  not allow him to be president because of his birth in Germany. Nevertheless, the pressure to do something extraordinary with his life took its toll.  At age 28 he jumped or fell from a steamboat en-route to a meeting with his father at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Most historians believe it to have been a suicide.  He was in the midst of a tawdry scandal that involved blackmail and possible shame for the family name.  And his meetings with his father were always tense, calamitous affairs.

A few years later the second son would die young. Louisa would send her husband a sad rebuke, “another child offered on the altar of politics.”

Writes J.J. Perling, “George Washington Adams could never have been an occupant of the Presidential chair: the Constitution of the United States restricted that office to native born citizens, and George Washington Adams had been born in Germany.” (p.30) And that was published in 1947.

Start reading All the Presidents’ Children now on kindle.

Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

21 thoughts on “Top Presidential Historian says Ted Cruz not eligible to be president


    These official documents also prove that Ted Cruz was a legal citizen of Canada in 2012, when he sought and claimed a seat in the U.S. Senate as a legal US citizen.

    a) We have proof that Ted Cruz was born a legal citizen of Canada in 1970, his Canadian Birth Certificate.

    b) We have proof that Ted Cruz remained a legal citizen of Canada from birth in Canada, until he renounced his Canadian citizenship in May of 2014, when he decided to seek the Oval office.

    c) We now have an alleged Delaware birth certificate for Ted’s mother, circa 1935, as supporting the claim that Ted’s mother was at birth, in Delaware, USA… however, Ted’s mother’s eligibility for the Oval Office is not in question, since she is not seeking office.

    So, we have TWO Canadian documents pertaining to Ted’s Canadian citizenship from birth, and ONE US document allegedly proving that his mother was from the USA…..
    Here’s the question….


    (dual citizens have dual papers from both countries) We have authenticated Ted’s Canadian citizenship, but we are still waiting for any documents that authenticate Ted’s claim to be a legal US citizen)

    A Natural Born Citizen has NO dual Citizenship.!

    Ted Cruz remained a legal citizen of Canada from birth in Canada, until he renounced his Canadian citizenship in May of 2014 .

    Ted is a Man without a Country..

    1. Non-sequitur. Points one and two have no bearing on Cruz’s Senate eligibility. If mom was a US citizen and we have no indication otherwise, then Ted was born a US citizen and is eligible to be a Senator.

      He was NOT, however, a ‘natural born citizen’ because a.) his father was a foreign national and b.) because he was born on foreign soil.

      Senator, yes, President, no.

  2. This sounds a little strange to me. If George was born in Berlin, Germany while his father served in the American diplomatic corps as the U.S. Minister to Prussia, would not that be an exception to rule?

    1. Because the founders were extremely smart to insure there would be no foreign influence of any kind! Secondly, it’s a good thing he didn’t get to become President! Imagine a the effect of a President committing suicide!

    2. Our laws have never made allowances for those born abroad other than to be provided presumtive citizenship. This is no different for those born to citizens, military, diplomats. All treated the same

  3. restricted that office to native born citizens

    What a pile of half-truths. The Constitution does not say ‘native born citizens.’ It does not define natural born citizens.
    English common law defined ‘natural born subjects’ as the children of English subjects, even those born outside the borders of England.

    Only a handful of attorneys and law professors believe the strange assertions of the so-called ‘birthers’ and ‘natural born citizen’ zealots. The same founding fathers who wrote the ‘natural born citizen’ language chose *not* to define the term, or set specific limitations for candidates – but they specifically granted Congress the power to pass legislation that defined the citizenship and naturalization process, and the definition of who is a ‘natural born citizen.’

  4. There are multiple founding fathers that defined natural born citizen including John Bingham, father of the 14th amendment. NBC has NEVER been defined any other way than a child born on US soil to citizen parents. It was never questioned prior to 2007.

    1. elegy58 – Natural Born Citizen was not defined in the Constitution. The term was not even a common term in the 1780’s. No founding father provided a definition in any statute. John Bingham was not a founding father.

      ‘Natural Born Citizen’ has *never* been legally defined as “a child born on U.S. soil to citizen parents.” If you claim it is, you have an obligation to reveal that information to the rest of the world. Born on U.S. soil is a ‘native born citizen’, a completely different term. That definition is simply what you would like it to mean, isn’t it?

      1. Natural Born or Native Born was well understood in the 1780’s. Hence the failure to define it in depth. In that era it went without explanation. They had Vattel and Blackstone as well as a current understanding of the birthright laws in Europe. Particularly England and France. As Madison said, place is the most certain criterion. It’s what applies in the United States.

      2. James Madison made it clear that a person born on foreign soil was not a natural born citizen. Six SCOTUS panels have agreed that the definition given by Emerich De Vattel in THE LAW OF NATIONS, multiple copies of which were known to have been used extensively by the constitutional committee, defining the term as a person born on the soil and of citizen parents (plural) is correct and none have indicated otherwise. Natural law was mentioned or referred to twice in the Constitution and once in the Declaration of Independence. You have nothing except a wish that all of those facts were not true.

  5. I suspect that had Trump be born in Toronto and Cruz in Boston, we would see all the people on the left who try to prop up Cruz as an alternative to Trump would be using this issue to disqualify him too. This is just too much fun to watch.
    On the other hand, I’ve heard this argument that not-yet born humans are not really human because they have to become human by growing up in a “human culture”. How is it possible that all babies are born citizens, when being a citizen is far more complex than being a mere cultural human?
    I guess being considered a human or a citizen depends on your political inclinations as a fetus.

  6. Minor point, but GW Adams wasn’t born in Germany. He was born in the Kingdom of Prussia. Germany didn’t come into existence as a country until 1871, seven decades after George W. Adams was born.

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