Ted Cruz says his kids made him flee Texas to go to Cancun

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed he always intended to return Thursday from his spontaneous trip to Cancun, Mexico, but other sources suggest the vacation was 'long-planned.'

After coming under fire for taking a vacation to Cancun, Mexico, during a devastating winter storm that has left millions of Texans without power this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued a statement Thursday claiming he took the trip only because his children asked to go.

The White House declared Texas to be in a state of emergency Sunday, allocating Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding and coordinated relief efforts toward the state. Cruz was first spotted Wednesday evening leaving Houston, Texas, and flying to Cancun, Mexico, on a United Airlines flight.

"This has been an infuriating week for Texans," Cruz wrote in a public statement Thursday afternoon. "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."

But on Monday, Cruz claimed on the Joe Pags show that his home had not lost power in the crisis.

He added in the statement that he only traveled to Cancun at the request of his daughters, 12-year-old Caroline and 10-year-old Catherine.

"With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends," Cruz wrote in the statement. "Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon."

He added that his staff and he are in "constant communication" with state and local leadership to uncover what went wrong to cause the power crisis in Texas.

"We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm," Cruz wrote. "My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texas safe."

But according to a Thursday report by the Associated Press, a source close to Cruz told the outlet the trip was "long-planned," calling into question Cruz's claim that it was the spontaneous result of school closures.

It's also unclear whether Cruz originally intended to return from his vacation on Thursday. Skift airlines reporter Edward Russell tweeted Thursday that a United Airlines representative confirmed that Sen. Cruz changed his return flight early Thursday morning and booked a Thursday flight back to Houston. He was originally slated to return Saturday, according to the source.

"Spoke to a source at United Airlines," Russell wrote. "Senator Ted Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for this afternoon at around 6 a.m. today (Thursday). He was originally scheduled to return on Saturday."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.