Cruz N.H. trip sparks more '16 speculation
POSTED: Friday, August 23, 2013 - 6:14pm
UPDATED: Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 11:12am
(CNN) -- Sen. Ted Cruz wraps up a week in the political spotlight by heading a political fundraiser in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.
The Texas Republican, who is considered a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, will be the main attraction at a reception Friday evening for the New Hampshire Republican party. Cruz has already made two visits this summer to Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the primary and caucus calendar, and in May was in South Carolina, which holds the first southern primary.
The fundraiser will be held at the home of former Ambassador Joseph Petrone and his wife, Augusta. The longtime New Hampshire residents are known for their active engagement in Republican politics. Over the years they've served as state chairs to presidential campaigns for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani.
An adviser to the state party tells CNN that a big activist turnout's expected, and at $100 per ticket, the event will be more of a low dollar gathering than the fundraiser headlined earlier this summer by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The trip to the Granite State concludes a week where Cruz made headlines for his newly discovered Canadian citizenship and for getting heckled at a defund Obamacare townhall in Houston.
Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, which has raised questions over whether he's eligible to run for president. At the beginning of the week, after the Dallas Morning News -- citing legal experts -- said Cruz's birthplace makes him a dual U.S.-Canada citizen, the senator declared he was ending any Canadian citizenship he may hold (though the actual process of renouncing Canadian citizenship involves a four-page application and a $100 fee).
Asked during a news conference Tuesday whether he thought he was eligible, Cruz deferred to other experts.
"The Constitution has its requirements. What I've said on this issue -- I'll lay out the facts, where I was born and who my parents are, and I'll leave it to others to worry about it," he said. "I'm not going to speculate about legal consequences."
And in an interview with CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, Cruz explained his reasoning for renouncing his Canadian citizenship, saying that "serving as a U.S. senator -- I was an American by birth, and serving as a U.S. senator, I think it's appropriate I be only an American."
Cruz added that the attention to his citizenship is merely evidence of the "silly season in politics."
The senator's full sit-down interview will air Sunday's "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. ET and 12 p.m. ET on CNN.
Cruz was in Houston on Tuesday pushing his goal of defunding President Barack Obama's health care law. The event was part of a week-long tour sponsored by the conservative group Heritage Action for America that features Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, as a headliner.
The younger Cruz was interrupted three times by hecklers during his remarks, though each time he allowed the protesters to speak before continuing his anti-Obamacare address. The final heckler was drowned out by chants of "USA" from the crowd.
Cruz, along with fellow Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, has said he won't support a measure to continue financing the government if it includes funding for Obamacare. The current measure keeping the government funded expires September 30.
Some Republicans contest that tactic won't work, and will instead alienate some Obamacare opponents.