While hundreds of thousands of Texans still don’t have heat, electricity or running water, five days after a severe winter storm paralyzed the state’s power grid, Ted Cruz confirmed that he took a flight with his family to Cancun on Wednesday. However, the reaction was so heated that the Republican senator revealed that he was returning home on Thursday.
“With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” she said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. “Wanting to be a good father, I flew with them last night and will fly back this afternoon.” However, this contradicts previous reports that it was a long-planned family trip for Cruz, as well as some sources claiming that he was not originally scheduled to return home until Saturday. Cruz added that he had been in “constant communication” with state and local leaders during his absence. In an interview Thursday night with Houston’s KTRK-TV, Cruz said he had planned to spend the weekend in Mexico. The New York Times also received group text messages from Cruz’s wife, Heidi, to friends and neighbors, revealing plans for the hasty trip and inviting people to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun. Images that appeared to show the Republican senator on a flight to Mexico went viral Wednesday night, with many critics accusing him of leaving his constituents out in the cold while going on spring break. Related: Beto O’Rourke Blames Republican Leaders For Texas Power Outages: ‘We Are Approaching A Failed State’ Former MSNBC Host David Schuster Tweeted: “Cruz Seems To Believe There’s Not Much To Do In Texas to the millions of fellow Texans who remain without power / water and are literally freezing. “He shared a post with a photo of Cruz on a plane, but it should be noted that it was unclear when that photo was taken or where Cruz was flying But Keith Edwards, a former campaign adviser to Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff, also tweeted Wednesday night that multiple people were messaging him via TWTR Twitter, + 0.65% with photos confirming that Cruz was in his Wednesday flight from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to Cancun. Fox News also reported Wednesday that the senator had flown to Cancun with his family amid the Texas energy crisis. ndo a republican source. And the Associated Press reported Thursday morning that Cruz had indeed crossed the border for a long-planned family vacation, but was now expected to return immediately. The situation also emerged at the White House press conference on Thursday. “I don’t have any updates on the exact location of Senator Ted Cruz, or anyone in the White House,” said press secretary Jen Psaki, “but our focus is on working directly with leadership in Texas and the surrounding states to address the issue. winter storm and looming crisis “. Representatives for Cruz were not immediately available to comment and confirm where the senator was on Thursday. But tweets alleging that Cruz had traveled to Mexico while his constituents were frozen at home galvanized many Twitter users, leading to “Cancun” becoming the hottest topic on the social media site in the United States. Thursday morning. His supporters argued that there is nothing Cruz himself could do about the Lone Star State’s power grid, anyway, so they didn’t see the problem with him leaving the state at this time. Cruz’s disappearing act came just a couple of days after he tweeted “I have no defense” about the current crisis in Texas. “A blizzard hits Texas and our state shuts down,” he wrote. “Not good. Staying safe!” Three million Texans were without power on Wednesday, meaning many were also unheated as temperatures dropped below freezing for days. Texas officials ordered about a quarter of the population, or 7 million people, to boil tap water before drinking it after damaged infrastructure and frozen pipes contaminate drinking water. Related: Rick Perry says Texans would rather go without power than give the federal government more power over them. The number of Texans in the dark dropped to just under half a million Thursday morning. Extreme winter weather has been blamed for the deaths of more than 30 people across the country this week, including some who were struggling to stay warm inside their homes. They include a Houston-area family who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning from carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage. This article has been updated with Senator Cruz’s statement.