Cruz Feels the Heat After Attempted Getaway to Cancún

Sarah Burke, contributor 
Senator Ted Cruz at the Cancun International Airport, taken February 18th, 2021. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer.

Senator Ted Cruz and his family flew to Cancún, Mexico amid a statewide weather crisis in Texas. The state had been experiencing power outages, leaving millions of Texans without running water or heat in their homes as temperatures hit record lows. Food supplies was at an all time low, making it difficult for many to feed their families. According to the BBC, there have been at least 47 storm-related deaths in Texas since the beginning of the crisis. Faced with backlash for abandoning his state in a time of crisis, Cruz admitted his trip last Wednesday was “obviously a mistake”.

Cruz has been reported saying he was trying to be a “good dad” by accompanying his daughters and their friends on this trip while they had the week off of school. According to Cruz, they had planned on staying the weekend and then flying back on Sunday. Cruz returned on Thursday, citing his own intuition as the reason for coming back early. 

“I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane, because on the one hand, all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our family. That’s something Texans have been doing across the state,” said Cruz. “But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously for the state of Texas and 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.” 

Many question the legitimacy of Cruz’ claims that he was taking the trip for his daughters. The New York Times reports that they received texts from an anonymous source detailing a conversation between Cruz, his wife and a few others who were not identified asking if they “wanted to take a trip this weekend” and how they needed to get out of their “FREEZING” house. 

Protesters gathered at the Cruz home and fired away on social media, where many posted videos of him going to the airport. According to CNN, the senator’s aides did not learn of his trip until they saw pictures of him posted on Twitter. 

Back in December, Cruz publicly called out a fellow politician, Mayor Stephen of Austin for taking a trip to Mexico after urging his constituents to stay home and be safe during the pandemic, calling him a “hypocrite.” Now Texans are doing the same to Cruz, using hashtags such as “#flyinted.”

Amanda Todd, a second-year at Augsburg, lived in Texas with her family before moving to Minneapolis to attend school. Todd joins the voices of many across the country in condemning Cruz’ decision. “I think it’s disgusting that Ted Cruz abandoned his state that he’s supposed to support when people are dying in their homes,” she told The Echo. 

Others, such as conservative author and activist Brigitte Gabriel, came to his defense, with Gabriel saying, “Senator Ted Cruz is one of the hardest working men in the country, he deserves a vacation.”

Cruz is also receiving backlash for his comment made at the Conservative Political Action Committee. During his speech he commented, “Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancún.” Many feel this comment is insensitive considering the negative response to his Mexico trip. 

A Dallas news station summed it up in these words: “He spent just one night out of the country – not long enough for a sunburn, but plenty of time to get blistered.”