Tue Aug 20, 2013 AT 6:00 AM EDT
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz released his birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News — a pre-emptive strike that could help head off criticism that the Republican is ineligible to run for president. Cruz, a darling of the Tea Party movement, has been visiting early presidential states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, which has sparked speculation that he’s interested in a White House bid, reports the USA Today. The Constitution says only a “natural born” citizen can be president. According to the Washington Post, legal scholars generally agree that Cruz meets that requirement, and Cruz’s office agrees. But it also remains somewhat untested in the courts. Meanwhile, The Dallas Morning News reports Cruz also became a citizen of Canada “the moment he was born” and would need to renounce his Canadian citizenship. In response, Cruz announced Monday evening he would renounce his Canadian citizenship.