The Texas Republican admitted that he went to Mexico to escape his cold home after texts surfaced outing the true intent of his trip.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was caught in multiple lies on Thursday about a trip he took to Cancun, Mexico, with his family as millions of his constituents in Texas suffered from power outages and food shortages during a winter storm that paralyzed his home state.
The brouhaha began Wednesday. Eagle-eyed travelers snapped photos of Cruz and his family traveling from Houston to Cancun amid the deadly winter storm that has left Texans freezing in their homes with no power, running water, or in some cases access to food — as the supply chain has been crippled by a snowstorm the traditionally warm state was unprepared to handle.
As the photos began to go viral on social media on Thursday morning, Cruz and his office were uncharacteristically silent, refusing to answer questions about Cruz's whereabouts or whether the photos were indeed of Cruz.
Cruz finally confirmed on Thursday afternoon that he was in Cancun. He blamed his daughters, saying they wanted to take a trip with friends to the resort hot spot and that he went with them because he wanted to be a "good dad" and that he was going to return on Thursday.
"With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends," Cruz said in a statement. "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."
But that statement omitted some key facts about why the Cruz's went on the trip — which Cruz was forced to admit after text messages his wife, Heidi, sent to a group chat leaked.
The texts revealed that the Cruz's were escaping what Heidi Cruz described as their "FREEZING" home in Houston — which others in Texas were not as fortunate to be able to afford. Heidi Cruz said they "couldn't stand it anymore" and decided to book a trip to the Ritz-Carlton resort in Cancun, and asked her friends in the group chat whether they'd like to join.
After that news broke, Cruz admitted that he regretted going to Cancun as soon as he got on the plane.
"Look, it was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn't have done it," Cruz told reporters upon his arrival back in Texas.
Cruz added, "from the moment I sat on the plane, I began really second-guessing that decision, and saying 'Look, I know why we're doing this, but I've also got responsibilities, and it had been my intention to be able to work remotely, to be on the phone, to be on the internet, to be on Zoom, to be engaged, but I needed to be here and that's why I came back."
He later went on Fox News host Sean Hannity's program Thursday night to continue to do damage control.
Hannity tried to help mend Cruz's damaged image — as he does for Republicans.
"There is always that double standard. You made the right call coming back. You also can be a father. There is also something called technology," said Hannity, who has relentlessly criticized Democratic politicians for similar optics issues. "I think there is a lot of sanctimony and politics being played in this."
But even Cruz refused to let Hannity spin his decision, again admitting the trip was a mistake and giving the full details about how he cut the vacation short when he realized his error.
"I had initially planned to stay through the weekend, 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," Cruz told Hannity.
Democrats were quick to criticize Cruz for the trip.
Cruz, for his part, has been critical of other politicians in the past who took trips as their constituents were in crisis.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.