As Texas endures one of the worst disasters in its modern history, the state’s junior senator took a trip to a sunnier locale.
Twitter sleuths and political operatives began flagging photos Wednesday night showing Cruz at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and, later, on a plane headed to Cancún.
Fox News and the Associated Press subsequently confirmed Cruz’s travels.
In a statement around 1 p.m. ET Thursday, Cruz resurfaced to blame his kids for the whole ordeal.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” he said. “Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”
The senator’s timing could not have been worse.
Days of freezing temperatures have caused millions to lose power. Boil-water advisories are now common throughout Texas as pipes burst from the cold, flooding buildings. The state’s food supply chain is encountering disruptions the likes of which “we’ve never seen before,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said earlier this week.
A lack of preparation for Texas’ deregulated, disconnected, natural-gas based electric grid appears to be the root of the problem. The weather has reportedly resulted in 16 deaths in the state.
As Cruz scurried beachside, his political opposites in Texas were scrambling to address the massive failures of infrastructure that have spread all across the state. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic former congressman and presidential candidate, wrote online around midnight that volunteers under his command had made 151,000 welfare calls to Texas seniors.
As evidence of Cruz’s tropical vacation spread online Thursday morning, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reported on the senator’s hasty retreat: An “R. Cru” on the standby list for a business class seat back to Houston.
Just confirmed @SenTedCruz and his family flew to Cancun tonight for a few days at a resort they've visited before. Cruz seems to believe there isn't much for him to do in Texas for the millions of fellow Texans who remain without electricity/water and are literally freezing. pic.twitter.com/6nPiVWtdxe
— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) February 18, 2021
Well Senator Cruz is flying to Cancun while millions of Texans do not have electricity #Priorities #ThanksforNothingSenator @ProjectLincoln @keithedwards @shannonrwatts pic.twitter.com/X1fRqOie6l
— Juan Gomez (@Juan_Gomez18) February 18, 2021
— Keith Edwards (@keithedwards) February 18, 2021
If true this would be one of the biggest scandals in political history pic.twitter.com/3OD2w42OFn
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) February 18, 2021
This post has been updated.