Democrat Sadler makes Cruz' Canadian roots an issue in Senate race

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 29 at 6:31 PM

With his big Republican National Convention speech over, U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz is wrapping up in Tampa and will soon be back in Texas for the November campaign against Democrat Paul Sadler.

Sadler and the Democrats are already extending an attack line against Cruz that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tried in the primary — that Cruz is an "outsider."

But the Democrats are taking it beyond the national border.

Cruz's keynote Tuesday night criticized President Obama's economic policies while praising liberty and those wanting a smaller, limited government.

He wove in the familiar story of his Irish-Italian mother and Cuban-born father who started with little and built successful lives.

"He fled to Texas in 1957, not speaking English, with $100 sewn into his underwear," Cruz told the RNC delegates.

What Cruz doesn't stitch into his stump speech is that he was born in Canada, where his family lived until he was four.

The Toronto Globe and Mail tried to talk to Cruz Tuesday about his early years, asking if he holds dual citizenship. Cruz said Houston is home and where he grew up.

Paul Sadler points out that he was born and raised in Texas and went to college at Baylor in Waco.

"I am Texas," he said. I'm from Texas."

Sadler said he thinks Cruz's birthplace and time outside Texas is an issue.

"Rafael Cruz — 'Ted,' that's what he goes by, his real name is Rafael — was born in Canada, educated at Harvard, spent most of his time in Washington, hand-picked by Washington to run down here."

The Cruz campaign did not respond for a comment, nor would it say if he holds dual citizenship.

But the Dallas County Republican Chairman Wade Emmert said raising Cruz's birthplace is "shameful" and irrelevant.

"Ted is a Texan. He's Hispanic, he's conservative, he's on the ballot," Emmert said. "I think to question his ethnicity... to question his loyalty... to question his citizenship shows how desperate these Democrats are."

What Sadler and the Democrats can't dispute is that Cruz is the GOP nominee in what is still a very Republican state.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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