Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is feeling some heat, and it might not just be the Mexican sun. After fleeing Texas in the midst of freezing blackouts for a trip to the popular vacation destination Cancún to escort his girls, the high-profile Republican is facing a backlash. Millions have been affected by rolling blackouts in the Lone Star State as officials grapple with the effects of cold weather’s impacts on an energy grid unaccustomed to such frigid conditions.
On Thursday morning, the Associated Press reported that an unnamed source confirmed that Cruz had traveled to Cancún. The AP described the trip as “long-planned” and wrote that the senator was expected to return “immediately” from the tropical getaway. Shortly afterward, CNN and The New York Times also confirmed the trip was real. That came after hours of frantic efforts across media — social and traditional — to verify earlier reports.
On Thursday afternoon, after the initial publication of this report, NBC News’s Vaughn Hillyard tweeted a statement from Cruz addressing the controversy. In it, Cruz acknowledged the “infuriating week” Texans have faced and wrote, “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 am flying back this afternoon,” he continued. “My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas.”
Late last night, journalist David Shuster posted a pic of a man that appeared to be Cruz on an airplane, writing in the tweet, “Just confirmed @SenTedCruz and his family flew to Cancún tonight for a few days at a resort they’ve visited before. Cruz seems to believe there isn’t much for him to do in Texas for the millions of fellow Texans who remain without electricity/water and are literally freezing.”
Twitter user Juan Gomez posted more pics of a man that appeared to be Cruz at the gate preparing to board.