Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) explains why he took a trip to Cancun, Mexico, while Texas is still suffering from severe winter weather and a loss of power and heat across much of the state. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi
Is Sen. Ted Cruz now going to be known as “Flyin’ Ted”?
Cruz sparked outrage on Thursday for flying from Houston to Cancun, Mexico, for a family vacation even as millions of his fellow Texans froze because of a huge winter storm and widespread power outages.
Thousands of Twitter posts blasted Cruz for the ill-timed jaunt after photos circulated online of him at a Houston airport and then onboard a plane Wednesday afternoon. The Texas Democratic Party, among others, demanded that Cruz resign from the Senate.
After hours of the senator’s staff refusing to confirm his whereabouts, Cruz finally copped to being in Cancun, where temperatures were in the mid-80s.
He said that his two daughters, who are 12 and 10 years old, had asked him and his wife to take them to Mexico after the Cruz family themselves lost electrical power.
Cruz then got on a flight by himself Thursday afternoon and flew back to Houston, where the temperatures were just above freezing.
“Texas is going through horrific storms and millions of Texans have lost power, lost heat and have been hurt and our family was among them,” Cruz told reporters before boarding the plane home, while wearing a mask with the Texas state flag design.
“We had no heat and no power and yesterday my daughters asked if they could take a trip with some friends and [Cruz’s wife] Heidi and I agreed and I flew down with them last night and dropped them off her, and now I’m headed back to Texas.”
Cruz’s suggestion that he had flown to Mexico only to drop off is family and leave after less than a full day was contradicted by the fact that he booked his return ticket to Texas only at 6 a.m. Thursday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke to NBC News.
That source said Cruz had originally been booked to return from Mexico on Saturday.
Cruz said that when he return to the United States he would “continue to work to get the power back on.”
“What’s happening in Texas is unacceptable and a lot of Texans are hurting,” Cruz said.
Cruz arrived at the Cancun airport with a man wearing a polo shirt that indicated he was an employee of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Cancun.
That man accompanied Cruz as he headed to his departure gate.
The Ritz-Carlton’s website notes that it is “a five-star, oceanfront retreat in the heart of Cancun.”
“Perfectly positioned on the Yucatan Peninsula, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun seamlessly fuses coastal luxury with the region’s rich cultural legacy,” that site says.
“Immerse yourself with sensorial experiences that range from cooking lessons to mixology classes by the pool. This five-star hotel also offers celebrated dining, indigenous spa rituals and a 27,000-sq-ft conference center.”
“Soak up the sun on the best beach in Mexico,” the site says. Rooms for four at the hotel cost at least $410 per night, according to its reservation system.
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