More than 50 people have died in an Arctic freeze from a winter storm that has left millions without power, heat, and water supply in a state famed for warm weather. They also suggest the family planned the getaway at the last minute and meant to stay in Cancun for close to a week. But a text thread released to multiple outlets makes it appear as though Cruz's wife Heidi was rallying neighbors to head south to escape the cold.
The embarrassing disaster has China rubbing its hands in glee even as President Biden is walking Washington back into the climate change accord which his predecessor Donald Trump took the United States out of to walk into the cold. "We could all huddle in one house, [name's] had heat", the text reads.
Even before the text messages emerged, Cruz was facing criticism from leaders in both parties, as well as his constituents.
At around 4:45 p.m., the senator was setting off for Cancun, Mexico, where it's been sunny with temperatures in the 80s, for a family vacation.
When he returned to Texas on Thursday, he told reporters at the airport that his daughters asked him on Wednesday if they could take a trip with friends to Cancun.
He also issued a statement saying that "wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with (my girls) and am flying back this afternoon". During an interview on Fox News, Sean Hannity attempted to defend Cruz.
Settlers in Texas also flew a flag that said, "Come and take it", referring to the cannon. "The hypocrisy is off the charts!" said Kimmel, who's made no secret of his dislike of the Texas senator. "Though Cruz claims he was alway at the helm".
"Now he says he wants to help get the power and the water back on, right after he finishes a margarita", Gallagher said laughing.
"I had initially planned to stay through the weekend and work remotely there", Cruz said. "But as I was heading down there, you know, I started to have second thoughts nearly immediately because the crisis here in Texas, you need to be here on the ground".
'Because the crisis here in Texas you need to be on the ground, because as much as you can do by phone and Zoom, it's not the same.
Live footage of Ted Cruz arriving back in Texas.
"That's something that he has to answer to his constituents about", state Republican Party Chairman Allen West said when asked whether Cruz's travel was appropriate while Texans are without power and water.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Cruz's 2018 electoral rival, Beto O'Rourke, took the opportunity to highlight that he'd been playing Gallant to Cruz's Goofus and used his Powered by People organization to call more than 150,000 seniors and connect them with local resources amid the storm.
Federal emergency officials sent generators to support water treatment plants, hospitals and nursing homes in Texas, along with thousands of blankets and ready-to-eat meals, officials said.