It’s one thing to leave your home state in a crisis when you were elected to serve and aid your citizens in times of dire need—it’s another to get caught skipping town and then blaming it on your daughters. Nice one, Ted Cruz.
After Texas has been hammered by freezing winter weather, leaving citizens in a statewide blackout without heat and water, their senator left for the beach. Cruz was seen boarding a plane Wednesday at the Houston airport. His destination? Cancun, Mexico.
After pictures of the senator started to circulate online, including images of him maskless in an airport lounge on Wednesday, Cruz said in a statement Thursday that he was on his way home. He didn’t take any responsibility for leaving the state while it was in shambles, but instead blamed the trip on his daughters.
“With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” Cruz said in the statement. “Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”
While the senator was enjoying his in-flight amenities, millions of Texans were left without power and water. Hospitals, already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, ran out of water and were forced to evacuate patients. In Austin, hospitals were reportedly resorting to garbage and biohazard bags to manually remove human feces from toilets.
Unlike Cruz, many Texans can’t get up and leave for sunny skies and are in fact literally freezing to death. In order to stay warm families are resorting to sitting in their cars, which has skyrocketed the number of carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in the state.
Texans are also running out of food. Extreme conditions have made transportation next to impossible in the state, as roads and infrastructure are not equipped to handle long stretches of sub-freezing temperatures.
Still, planes are taking off—and landing.
Once Cruz landed in Cancun and presumably took his phone off airplane mode, the notifications couldn’t have been pretty.
So, Cruz headed back to the airport to return to Texas. In his Thursday statement, he claimed that this was his plan all along, but according to a source with knowledge of the situation, his flight back home was originally scheduled for Saturday, and he booked a new return ticket a few hours after landing in Mexico.
“What’s happening in Texas is unacceptable and a lot of Texans are hurting,” Cruz told MSNBC in an interview before his flight back to Houston. This time, his mask was a Texas flag.
In Houston, a crowd of reporters and frustrated Texans waited for their senator to arrive.
“It shows a lack of empathy,” one Texan told Fox 26 of Cruz’s trip. “We elect officials to not only represent us, but to stand with us when we’re suffering and he may not be able to turn on a switch to fix the problem today, but he could show up and stand beside people who are losing their homes, who have lost their relatives.”