Ted Cruz Cancun Trip Draws Criticism as Texans Freeze
UPDATE: Our partners at News 10 report that Senator Cruz has responded to the backlash caused by his flight to Cancun during the current crisis.
Cruz is quoted as having said, "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."
Remember last year when Austin Mayor Steven Adler flew to Cabo San Lucas on a private jet for a wedding reception after telling Central Texans they needed to stay home and quarantine at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Well, another Texas politician may have just joined the Crisis Flyer's Club.
Wednesday evening, reports began circulating online that Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his family had boarded a plane for Cancun, Mexico while countless Texans continued to deal with sub-freezing temperatures with no electricity and no water.
FOX News and the Associated Press have reportedly confirmed Cruz's flight after speaking with an unnamed source in the GOP. According to the AP's source, the family trip had been in the works for some time, but the Senator was "expected to return immediately". The Houston Chronicle and other news sources report that attempts to reach Cruz or his office for comment have not been successful. The controversy began Wednesday when photos of Cruz and his family boarding a plane at Houston's George Bush International Airport began circulating on social media. More photos emerged showing Cruz aboard a plane bound for Cancun.
Some wondered if these were old photos that had resurfaced and were being used to attack Cruz, while others have mocked Senator Cruz for reportedly traveling to warmer climes while his constituents are stuck at home in a winter storm crisis. To make matters worse, Cruz appeared on Texas-based conservative talk radio program The Joe Pags Show on Monday, February 15 and urged Texans to stay home and avoid travel.
This isn't the first embarrassing situation for Ted Cruz during the ongoing Texas freeze. On Tuesday, tweets from Senator Cruz and other Texas leaders criticizing California's mishandling of power outages in 2019 during a massive heatwave resurfaced. Senator Cruz responded to an article from The Hill by retweeting it and commenting, "I got no defense. A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!"
The Week reports that as of late Thursday morning, it appeared that Senator Cruz was returning to Texas. Meanwhile, a bare-bones website titled FledCruz.com has already surfaced. Other Texas leaders have piled on, criticizing Senator Cruz for not staying in Texas to work for his constituents and lead by example.
Meanwhile, #TedFled continued to trend on Twitter late Thursday morning.
TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages