Ted Cruz jetted to Cancun amid widespread Texas power outages
UPDATED AT 2:15 PM (EST)
Late on Wednesday, images of the Texas Republican at an airport began floating around online, with people claiming that he had left the Lone Star State for Cancun in the midst of the deadly crisis. At least 30 people have died across the country due to the winter storm, according to the Associated Press.
Once knowledge of his trip became public, Cruz put out a statement explaining that he was chaperoning his daughters and their friends on their trip to Mexico.
“This has been an infuriating week for Texans,” Cruz wrote in a statement.
“The greatest state in the greatest country in the world has been without power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping at the neighbors’ house. Our homes are freezing and our lights are out too. Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power, too,” he continued.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” the senator added.
A Republican source had told Fox News on Thursday that the claims that Cruz was flying to the beach town were true.
“The photos speak for themselves,” the source said, according to Fox.
One source directly familiar with the situation had earlier told the Associated Press that the trip to Cancun was long-planned and that Cruz was expected to return almost immediately. According to The New York Post, Cruz’s flight back to Houston is expected to arrive at 3:47 p.m. local time on Thursday.
Moreover, Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News reported earlier on Thursday that an individual seeming to be Cruz has a ticket from Cancun to Houston later on Thursday. The first three letters of their last name are “CRU,” and the first letter of their first name is “R.” Cruz’s actual first name is Raphael, while Ted is a nickname.
Cruz’s office did not respond to SaraACarter.com’s request for comment.
“That’s something that he has to answer to his constituents about,” Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West said, according to the Associated Press, when asked whether the senator’s travel was appropriate while Texans are without power and water.
“I’m here trying to take care of my family and look after my friends and others that are still without power,” West said. “That’s my focus.”
Meanwhile, Cruz acknowledged how dire the situation in Texas is in a Tuesday tweet, in response to people accusing him of hypocrisy for mocking California during its 2019 power outages.
“I’ve got no defense,” he wrote, followed with a shrugging emoji. “A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good.”
On Thursday, Cruz also heaped praise onto a furniture store owner, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who let over 1,000 people seek refuge in his store amid the power outages, according to FOX 26 in Houston.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.