Senator Cruz to announce presidential bid Monday

Sen. Ted Cruz to announce presidential bid Monday

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is expected to announce on Monday he will run for president in 2016 -- making him the first candidate to formally enter the race, Fox News confirms.  

Cruz is expected to make the announcement during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

He is expected to start his campaign immediately rather than launch an exploratory committee, which many do as a precursor to a campaign. The move, some say, is expected to send a strong signal that his is ready to run.

Other candidates who have been rumored to run for the GOP nomination include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Following the announcement, Cruz is slated to speak with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview.

Cruz, 44, who has made headlines for his conservative stance on immigration, has gone after other Republicans for their more moderate views.  

In recent weeks, Cruz has already come under fire over his own citizenship. Two former Justice Department lawyers said last week there is no doubt the Canadian-born senator is eligible to run for the White House.

"There is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a 'natural born Citizen' within the meaning of the Constitution," Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and Paul Clemente, solicitor general in the President George W. Bush administration, wrote in a joint article.

Anti-Cruz "birthers" challenged his citizenship status because he was born in Canada. However, two years ago, Cruz released his birth certificate showing his mother was a U.S. citizen born in Delaware, presumably satisfying the requirements for presidential eligibility as a "natural born citizen."

Last month, Cruz addressed the citizenship issue during a question-and-answer session with moderator Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference.  “I was born in Calgary. My mother was an American citizen by birth,” Cruz said.  “Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The Constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen.”

With a little more than a year and half to go before the 2016 election, speculation is heating up that several presidential contenders will soon officially throw their hats into the ring. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who enjoys a wide lead among potential Democratic candidates despite the recent uproar over her use of a personal email account while leading the State Department, is expected to announce her candidacy next month.

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