Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Texas Senator Ted Cruz facing Controversy and Backlash after leaving Texas for Mexico during the severe weather outbreak and residence loosing power.
Senator Ted Cruz was met with a wave of fury on Thursday on his return to Houston from Cancun, Mexico, as critics questioned his decision to travel abroad while millions of Texas residents were without power and safe drinking water amid freezing temperatures that have left at least 21 people dead in the southern United States.
Public outrage has increased in recent days as officials in Texas have sought to deflect blame for the state’s lack of preparedness for the storms and Cruz, a prominent Republican figure widely seen as a potential 2024 presidential contender, immediately became an object of scorn for Texans already incensed by state leaders response to the crisis.
During an exchange with reporters outside his home in Houston on Thursday night, Cruz said he decided to return from Cancun, after flying there Wednesday, because he “didn’t want all the screaming and yelling about this trip to distract even one moment from the real issues that I think Texans care about.” “It was obviously a mistake,” Cruz said of his decision to go on the trip. “In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it. I was trying to be a dad.”He expressed regret and said he had decided to come back earlier than he originally intended.“Leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn’t feel right, and so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight I could take,” Cruz said, adding that he took a coronavirus test Thursday morning, tested negative and then got on an afternoon flight.
He also cast his actions as something any Texan would do on behalf of their family.
“Well, what I would say is I was taking care of my family, the same way that Texans all across the state were taking care of” theirs, Cruz said. “It certainly was not my intention for that to be understood as critics have tried to paint it as somehow diminishing the hardship that other Texans have experienced.”
Text messages among a group of Cruz’s neighbors, first reported by the New York Times, show Cruz’s wife growing frustrated with the power outage at their home and inviting others to join them on a possible trip to Cancun. “Our house is FREEZING,” Heidi Cruz wrote to the group, noting that their family “couldn’t stand it anymore” and had to stay elsewhere the night before. The text messages were provided to The Washington Post by American Bridge, a Democratic group, and confirmed by a recipient on the text chain who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation. Heidi Cruz also texted to the group information for flights departing Houston on Wednesday and returning from Cancun on Sunday, with a note about the $309 per night rate at the Ritz-Carlton Cancun. Photos that rapidly circulated on social media Wednesday night showed what looked to be the senator at an airport and on a plane. In some photos, a gray mask was visible that appeared to be similar to one Cruz wore at President Biden’s inauguration.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Thursday that a member of Cruz’s staff had contacted the department to ask for assistance for the senator’s departure on Wednesday and as Cruz returned to Houston on Thursday, he was seen wearing a Texas themed mask and wheeling a large black suitcase as he walked through the airport accompanied by two uniformed police officers. The trip, which lasted about 24 hours, triggered calls from Democrats for Cruz’s resignation as well as a cascade of questions about why the senator decided to leave Texas while millions of his constituents are suffering during the storms and at a time when public health authorities have cautioned against international travel because of the pandemic.
In Texas, more than 3 million customers were still in the dark Wednesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us, which tracks outages nationwide. As of Thursday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said the figure was about 325,000. Millions were advised to boil water as the frigid temperatures caused pipes to freeze. Abbott and some other state Republicans have put blame on frozen wind turbines an argument contradicted by Abbott’s energy department. Former Texas governor Rick Perry (R) has drawn criticism, as well, for saying that Texans would spend even longer in the freezing cold to “keep the federal government out of their business”.
The Texas Democratic Party called on Cruz to resign over the Cancun trip. In a statement, Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said Cruz “is proving to be an enemy to our state by abandoning us in our greatest time of need.”
“Cruz is emblematic of what the Texas Republican Party and its leaders have become: weak, corrupt, inept, and self-serving politicians who don’t give a damn about the people they were elected to represent,” he said.