Senator Ted Cruz has been widely criticised for flying to Mexico whilst millions in his state were struggling with the recent winter storm. Photos began to surface of the Republican Senator at the airport, on the way to a resort in Cancun with his family.
Cruz’s holiday comes at a time when millions of Texans are without power and water thanks to a winter storm which has severely affected the state. Many homes don’t have power and 13 million Texans have been told to boil contaminated water.
Cruz justified the trip by saying in a statement that he was only flying to Cancun with his daughters, who ‘asked to take a trip with friends’. He said that he was flying back the next afternoon, which he did.
Cruz was faced with further criticism for leaving his dog behind. A New York Magazine reporter took a photo of the pet (which appeared to be a poodle or a similar breed) looking out of the Senator’s window. A security guard said he had been tasked with looking after it.
In response to mounting criticism over his Cancun getaway, Cruz released a statement which read:
“This has been an infuriating week for Texans. The greatest state in the greatest country in the world has been without power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping at the neighbors’ houses. Our homes are freezing and our lights are out. Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power too. With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends.
“Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.”
When he returned from the trip on Thursday afternoon, he was greeted by protesters chanting ‘resign’. Cruz said that the trip was ‘obviously a mistake’.
The trip could turn out to have a significant long-term impact, as Cruz is a possible contender to the Republican party’s 2024 nominee, though his trip to Cancun could hurt his chances. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also faced a holiday-related scandal in 2017 after he issued a government shutdown on all state parks and then took his family in a police helicopter to a beach that had been closed. His reputation was damaged by the incident, and Cruz will probably be concerned about the impact his trip to Cancun could have on his possible presidential ambitions.