Republicans are scrambling to defend Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz after he flew to Cancún, Mexico with his family for a beachside vacation, all while hundreds of thousands of his constituents were freezing, without power or heat.
The Lone Star State experienced widespread blackouts after the frigid temperatures from a devastating arctic blast booted insufficiently winterized power sources offline.
Texts from Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, to family friends reveal the Cruzes made the sudden decision to stay at a Ritz Carlton by the ocean in Mexico to escape their "FREEZING" house.
After widespread backlash, Cruz returned early to Texas where he said the trip was due to his young daughters' requests for a getaway while schools were shut down.
Initially, Cruz implied he was simply shuttling his family to their destination and staying for one night before getting back to work.
In an interview with far-right Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, Cruz said he'd intended to work from home through the weekend—but not before Hannity attempted to throw the Senator a lifeline by saying the trip was only supposed to be for one night.
Ted Cruz responds to controversy surrounding Cancun travel on 'Hannity' youtu.be
"Now, you went and you took your daughters to Cancun and you came back. I think you can be a father and be the senator of Texas all at the same time and make a round trip, quick drop-off, quick trip, and come home."
Cruz had already revealed he'd intended to stay the weekend in Cancún, but rebooked his trip around 6 am Thursday morning to return to Texas that afternoon.
Cruz told Hannity:
"I had initially planned to stay through the weekend and to 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."
The interview didn't do much to control the damage.
Sort of defeats the point of doing the Hannity rinse-and-wash if you’re going to do 20 mins of a mea culpa presser… https://t.co/OrLO6E8qHr— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1613703605.0
This was clearly the suggestion of Cruz’s initial statement, but they obviously realized rather quickly it would ne… https://t.co/4ukr5uzvMz— Aaron Blake (@Aaron Blake)1613702872.0
Because every normal family drops their kids off for Cancun every time there’s a snow day. Growing up in Ohio, I t… https://t.co/MBxJwNI7Ec— h (@h)1613704449.0
Cruz literally said: "The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family." This was a few hours ago, and… https://t.co/l1ECXnzVit— John Haltiwanger (@John Haltiwanger)1613705685.0
What do Cruz, Hannity and Trump share? They lie as easily as they breathe and they don't care when they get caught. https://t.co/etvwxNkJc3— David Cay Johnston (@David Cay Johnston)1613703318.0
LOL...he couldn't even maintain his own lie. https://t.co/YNSTQ5ylBd— Wakandan Brand Ambassador (@Wakandan Brand Ambassador)1613743923.0
Cruz continues to face widespread rebuke for the ill-advised trip—especially in relation to the work of other prominent political figures to help relief efforts in Texas.
Beto organized phonebanks to call 780,000 Texas seniors to check in on them and help them access food and shelter.… https://t.co/OQInaMIIpt— Nate Lerner (@Nate Lerner)1613753198.0
So to summarize if you're just now tuning in: —NY Congresswoman @AOC raises $2M for Texans and flies to Texas to h… https://t.co/W4VppUyFLj— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@Qasim Rashid, Esq.)1613754254.0
Beto O'Rourke organized 300,000 volunteer phone calls today to help senior citizens in Texas. AOC raised $1 million… https://t.co/nm0Bxc8IAH— Brandon Friedman (@Brandon Friedman)1613703759.0
Power is slowly but surely being restored to the Lone Star State.