As his home state grappled with devastating winter storms, Ted Cruz was facing a torrent of criticism on Thursday — seemingly caught fleeing frozen Texas for a getaway in sunny Cancun.
Pictures began rocketing around Twitter late Wednesday night of the Texas GOP senator and potential 2024 presidential hopeful traveling with his family to Cancun while his state deals with unprecedented power outages and sub-freezing temperatures. Flight data on Thursday morning suggested that Cruz could be flying back to Texas only one day after arriving, but the backlash against him already had begun.
“Guess which US Senator from Texas flew to Cancun while the state was freezing to death and having to boil water?” asked Gene Wu, a Democratic Texas state lawmaker whose district includes Houston.
The Senate is on a scheduled recess this week, with many senators returning to work in their home states. Meanwhile, winter storms have pummeled cities across Texas all week, leaving millions of residents unable to heat their homes or buy food.
Cruz’s office did not respond to repeated requests to confirm that he had traveled to Cancun on Wednesday.
This week isn’t the first time Cruz has courted controversy during a natural disaster. When Hurricane Sandy battered the northeast in 2012, he vocally opposed a relief package to help those states rebuild, blasting it as a “Christmas tree” filled with unnecessary spending. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017, Cruz led the charge for an emergency spending bill to help his state and faced questions from fellow lawmakers — as well as then-GOP Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey — about the apparent double standard.