Ted Cruz Speaks Out on Controversial Cancun Trip: 'I Started to Have Second Thoughts Almost Immediately'
Calling his trip to Mexico as Texas lay encased in snow and ice a “mistake,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas revealed Thursday that he had already planned to leave his family in Cancun and return home even before a firestorm of media criticism erupted over his decision to leave the state.
“It was obviously a mistake,” Cruz said Thursday as he spoke to reporters after returning to Houston. “In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it.”
“I was trying to be a dad,” he said, describing how his daughters had asked if the family could escape the cold and go someplace warm.
“I have to admit, I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane,” the senator said.
“Frankly, 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,” he said.
Deadly cold, accompanied by snow, hit Texas early in the week, crippling the state’s power grid. Hundreds of thousands lost power. The effects of the storm continue as residents remain without power and in many cases water.
With Texans shivering and suffering, the sight of the conservative senator arriving in the resort community of Cancun triggered outrage in the liberal media and on social media that he would be enjoying warmth while many of his constituents were cold.
— Lovehersports50 (@lovehersports50) February 19, 2021
Ted Cruz is so out of touch that he not only thought vacationing in Cancun while his constituents are struggling to survive is fine, but he then tried to rationalize it w/ a statement making it sound as though spontaneous international getaways during pandemics are totally normal
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 19, 2021
As many criticized Cruz, others brushed aside the complaints as nothing more than liberal political opportunism.
The media coverage to the Ted Cruz story is such a joke. This is why people hate the media.
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) February 19, 2021
Looking forward to the establishment media dedicating as many resources to Andrew Cuomo lying about the deaths of thousands of seniors and threatening legislators as they do to Ted Cruz flying to Cancun and leaving his dog in the care of security.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 19, 2021
Cruz later elaborated on the controversial decision in an appearance Thursday night on the Fox News show “Hannity.”
“Heidi and me, we lost power for two days,” said Cruz, referring to his wife.
“Our house was dark. We had no heat. … We were all huddled around the fireplace because it was the only heat in the house, and after a couple of days, after the girls being really cold, it being in the teens and the 20s outside, our girls said, ‘Look, school has been canceled for the week. Can we take a trip and go somewhere warm?’ And Heidi and I, as parents, we said, ‘OK, sure,'” he said.
“And so last night I flew down with them to the beach and then I flew back this afternoon,” the senator said.
Cruz said he at first planned to stay with his family during these days when the Senate is on recess, but then realized that was not where he should be.
“I initially planned to stay through the weekend and work remotely there, but as I was heading down there, you know, I started to have second thoughts almost immediately because the crisis here in Texas, you need to be here on the ground,” he told host Sean Hannity.
“As much as you can do by phone and Zoom, it’s not the same as being here. And so I returned this afternoon, and I’m here working to make sure to do everything we can to get the power turned on but also fundamentally to ask the questions, ‘Why did this happen?’ … ‘Why was the grid not sufficiently prepared so that 4 million Texans lost heat and power.”
Cruz said the major issue ahead is to make sure the power grid failure does not happen again.
“This week has been hell for the state of Texas,” the senator told Hannity.
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