07/21/2013 11:19 am ET Updated Jul 21, 2013

Ted Cruz Dismisses 2016 Speculation From Iowa

Just because Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is in Iowa right now -- a state frequented by presidential hopefuls -- does not mean he is planning to run, the lawmaker said on Sunday.

"We are having a national debate about which direction the country should go, and what I am doing now is trying to participate in that national debate,” Cruz said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."

"I’m not focused on the politics. I’ve been in the office all but seven months. The last office I was elected to was student council. So this has been a bit of a whirlwind.”

The tea party senator traveled to Iowa for the first time as a United States senator this week to headline the Iowa Republican Party's summer picnic. The trip has fueled speculation that he plans to run in 2016.

While Cruz would not exactly say whether he is gearing up for the primaries, he cleared up speculation that he is not eligible to run because he was born in Canada. “My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware," he said. "She’s a U.S. citizen, so I’m a U.S. citizen.”

“I’m not going to engage in a legal debate. The facts are clear. I can tell you where I was born and who my parents were. And then as a legal matter, others can worry about that. I’m not going to engage.”



Sen. Ted Cruz