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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

Weighing White House run, senator clarifies citizenship

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and favorite of the Tea Party movement, was born in Canada, to a Cuban father and US-born mother.

Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and favorite of the Tea Party movement, was born in Canada, to a Cuban father and US-born mother.

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Cruz, seemingly eyeing a presidential run in 2016, calls his renunciation of Canadian citizenship no big deal, even though questions about candidates’ birthplaces have flared in recent elections.

Controversy still dogs President Obama from some quarters despite proof he was born in Hawaii.

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Cruz, a Texas Republican and favorite of the Tea Party movement, was born in Canada, to a Cuban father and US-born mother. His mother’s status has allowed him to be a citizen of both the United States and Canada, but he said Tuesday in Houston, ‘‘I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American.’’

Previous foreign-born Americans — notably Republicans John McCain and George Romney — have run for president with some mention but no serious challenges of their eligibility.

The chief upshot of Cruz’s announcement that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship is to suggest he’s seriously considering a presidential bid in 2016, and would like to settle that side issue now. Cruz is among Obama’s sharpest critics, and is vying for early national attention with another Tea Party-backed Senate freshman, Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Cruz is helping lead an effort to shut down the government if that’s what it takes to stop implementation of Obama’s landmark health care overhaul.

Biden’s son, the Delaware AG, undergoes medical tests

WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden was undergoing medical tests on Tuesday in Houston, where family members, including his father, Vice President Joe Biden, were gathered.

The younger Biden, who is being evaluated to determine why he experienced weakness and disorientation last week, posted a smiling photo of his wife, Hallie, and himself to his Twitter account Tuesday morning.

‘‘Touched by all your well wishes — thank you. Nice evening in Houston w/Hallie; will share update when we have it,’’ the tweet read.

Beau Biden, who suffered a mild stroke in 2010, began experiencing the symptoms last Wednesday night after driving to Indiana for a family vacation, said Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice.

Biden, 44, was initially admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and traveled the next day to a Philadelphia hospital to consult with his doctor. He was discharged and spent the weekend at home in Wilmington.

The White House said the vice president had been home in Delaware for the past several days and accompanied his son to Houston. It’s not clear how long the vice president will stay, but he’s scheduled to join President Obama in Scranton, Pa., later this week during Obama’s two-day bus tour.

This isn’t the first health scare for Beau Biden, who became Delaware’s attorney general in 2007. After the stroke in May 2010, he spent a week in the hospital and more than a month recuperating at home.

‘‘Stroke was the farthest thing from my mind when I went in,’’ Biden said at that time.

State representative plans challenge to Tenn. senator

NASHVILLE — Senator Lamar Alexander’s efforts to ward off a primary challenge from the right fell short Tuesday with Tennessee state Representative Joe Carr’s announcement that he will mount a Tea Party challenge for the Republican nomination for the US Senate.

Carr, a Murfreesboro business consultant, told WTN-FM host Ralph Bristol that he decided to abandon his challenge to embattled US Representative Scott DesJarlais to instead take on Alexander because he considers the senator ‘‘the most liberal member of the delegation from Tennessee.’’

DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, is considered vulnerable because of revelations of past infidelities with patients and once having encouraged his wife and a lover to seek abortions.

In response to the switch to campaign against Alexander, Carr’s top campaign strategist, Chip Saltsman, resigned.

‘‘It is because of Lamar Alexander that people like you have the honor of serving in the majority of the state legislature,’’ Saltsman said in his resignation letter to Carr.

Meanwhile, Alexander is one of Tennessee’s most seasoned politicians. He is a former two-term governor who twice ran for president, and served as US secretary of education and as president of the University of Tennessee. He also had $3.1 million in the bank for his reelection effort through the first half of the year.

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