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Ted Cruz to launch presidential bid

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the 2015 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum March 10, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong, Getty Images

Last Updated Mar 22, 2015 9:48 AM EDT

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he is running for president, an adviser to Cruz has confirmed to CBS News.

The 44-year-old Cruz will be the first high-profile candidate to formally launch a White House bid, although several GOP contenders are expected to enter the race in the coming weeks.

The Republican firebrand has been touring the country, making stops at states pivotal in a general election campaign, in preparation for a reported 2016 run.

Questions of his birthplace might haunt the Texan senator, who was born in Canada, but legal scholars generally agree that it wouldn't disqualify him from a presidential bid.

"It's pretty clear that he's eligible because he was a citizen at birth," Peter Spiro, a law professor at Temple University, told CBS News in 2013, when Cruz first released his birth certificate to quiet critics.

After joining the Senate in 2013, Cruz established himself as an uncompromising conservative willing to take on Democrats and Republicans alike. He promises to repeal the federal health care law, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and scrap the Education Department.

His antics in the upper chamber, which included a 21-hour faux filibuster opposing Obamacare in 2013, have earned him notoriety. And though his appeal to the hyper-conservative wing of Republicans -- and to tea party hardliners in particular -- has given him a high profile since his election to the Senate, some remain skeptical about his electability to national office.

Cruz's plans were first reported by The Houston Chronicle.