DALLAS — Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas confirmed that he traveled to Mexico for a family-related vacation as his home state struggled with the aftermath of a powerful winter storm that left many residents without power or safe drinking water.
The high-profile Republican lawmaker went with his family for a long-planned trip to Cancun on Feb. 17 and was expected to return immediately, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private conversations.
Cruz released a statement saying he accompanied his daughters on a vacation.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” he stated. “Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”
The revelation opens Cruz to significant criticism in Texas and beyond as he contemplates the possibility of a second presidential run in 2024. The two-term senator’s current term expires in early 2025.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Texas woke up Thursday to a fourth day without power, and a water crisis was unfolding after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities.
Texas officials ordered 7 million people — one-quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state — to boil tap water before drinking the water, after days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.
In Austin, some hospitals faced a loss in water pressure and in some cases, heat.
Here’s Sen. Cruz’s full statement, provided by FOX2:
“This has been an infuriating week for Texans. 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.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. 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.”Sen. Ted Cruz
Cruz was a leading Republican voice even before he ran for president in 2016. In more recent years, he has positioned himself as a key ally of Donald Trump with an eye toward a potential second White House bid.
The Texas senator, who once described Trump as a “pathological liar,” championed the-then president’s call to block the certification last month of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. That stand led to calls for Cruz’s resignation after a violent mob stormed the Capitol as Congress was affirming Biden’s win.
“You lied about the election. The Capitol was attacked. Sen. Cruz: Resign,” reads billboards put up across Texas by the anti-Trump Republican Accountability Project.
Cruz’s office dismissed the criticism.
“The left – and some grifters on the right – are consumed by partisan anger and rage,” his office said in a written statement earlier in the month. “Sen. Cruz will continue to work for 29 million Texans in the Senate.”