Barbs fly at Ted Cruz for heading to Cancun as millions in Texas freeze without power

WASHINGTON — As three million Texans shivered at the hours of darkness, Sen. Ted Cruz jetted off to Cancun together with his household, outed immediately by fellow vacationers and berated by critics for abandoning constituents throughout an epic statewide energy disaster.

Social media images from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and aboard the flight to the sun-drenched seaside resort flourished Wednesday night. By Thursday, when temperatures alongside Mexico’s Caribbean coast had been on observe to hit 83 levels, the pile-on was at full boil.

Detractors dusted off classic Cruz feedback denying the existence of local weather change and decrying Democrats coastal elites who care not a whit for the plight of strange People.

With Cancun, CancunCruz and FlyinTed (an homage to Donald Trump’s “Lyin’ Ted” epithet) trending on-line – together with “Heidi,” as in Heidi Cruz, his spouse – the senator remained uncharacteristically silent on Twitter.

Aides ignored inquiries concerning the uproar the boss’s getaway triggered.

Cruz “is vacationing in Cancun proper now when individuals are actually freezing to demise within the state that he was elected to symbolize and serve,” Beto O’Rourke – the previous El Paso congressman who narrowly misplaced to Cruz in 2018 – chided on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Houston is beneath a tough freeze watch. By Thursday morning, the variety of Texans with out energy had dipped beneath 600,000. And because the relative handful of defenders identified, not like a governor, a senator has no direct accountability for emergency administration.

Nonetheless, Cruz appeared to have purchased a ticket for the Thursday afternoon flight house – chopping the holiday far too brief for a sunburn, but definitely lengthy sufficient to get blistered.

The Lincoln Undertaking, an anti-Trump Republican group that has had its personal huge public relations challenges recently amid allegations of sexual harassment by one in all its founders, poked at Cruz by tweeting: “When the going will get robust… head to Cancun, child!”

Invoice Kristol, head of a distinct group of anti-Trump Republican, was so irate he mistakenly accused Cruz of heading to “Canton.”

State Rep. Gene Wu, a Houston Democrat, posted a photograph of Cruz boarding the flight and taunted: “Guess which US Senator from Texas flew to Cancun whereas the state was freezing to demise and having to boil water?”

There was little question concerning the Cruzes’ id.

Cruz wore the identical masks he wore throughout President Joe Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s second impeachment trial: grey, with a black cannon and “Come and Take it,” a design paying homage to flags utilized by Texans through the 1835 revolution in opposition to Mexico – a provocative selection, given the vacation spot.

On-line sleuths matched his hairline, glasses, ring and tennis sneakers to earlier images of him.

Photographs put them close to the United Airways gate for the four:10 p.m. flight to Cancun, which landed simply earlier than eight p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wears a "Come and Take It" face mask to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's confirmation hearing on Jan. 21, 2021.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wears a “Come and Take It” face masks to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s affirmation listening to on Jan. 21, 2021.(Stefani Reynolds)

Fellow passengers posted selfies from onboard with Cruz behind them, and images simply of him, or of him and Heidi. Some wrote on Fb that they’d spoken with him.

It’s not as if Cruz can stroll by means of a Texas airport unrecognized.

He’s been within the Senate for eight years. He was runner-up for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. His title ID within the state is close to whole; a College of Texas ballot final fall discovered that 96% of Texans had some opinion about him.

Not like, say, Irving congresswoman Beth Van Duyne, who posted a photograph of herself huddling close to a hearth as a result of like tens of millions of different Texans, she had misplaced energy and warmth, Cruz and his household suffered no such challenges which may immediate a visit to hotter climes.

On Monday, Cruz advised conservative discuss present host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo that ”fortunately, my house, we didn’t lose energy. So proper now we’ve received a bunch of the neighborhood youngsters throughout taking part in with our ladies, as a result of their mother and father misplaced energy and our home was fortunate. So we’ve received youngsters working up and down the steps proper now.“

Noting the harmful circumstances, he added this recommendation to fellow Texans, a day earlier than heading to the airport: “When you can keep house, don’t exit on the roads, don’t threat the ice. … Don’t threat it. Maintain your loved ones protected, and simply keep house and hug your youngsters.”

Julián Castro, a former Obama housing secretary and San Antonio Mayor, mentioned Cruz “must be on the cellphone with federal companies, not on a visit to Mexico,” asserting that “in crises like these, members of Congress play a vital position connecting their constituents to emergency providers and help.”

Defenders similar to Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative commentator pardoned by Trump in 2018 for making an unlawful marketing campaign contribution, argued there was little Cruz might do if he’d stayed in Texas, whereas in Cancun, “he’s not utilizing up useful assets of vitality, meals and water that may now be utilized by another person. That is in all probability the very best factor he might do for the state proper now.”

“Senate is out, he can afford it,” wrote one reader, Dallas resident Mark Gist. “What precisely is the issue?”

Conservative pundit Erick Erickson known as it “ignorance” for anybody to suppose a senator “can do something a few state energy grid,” drawing a rebuttal that, given his huge community and excessive profile, Cruz is “uniquely positioned” to catalyze aid efforts.

O’Rourke, not in workplace, led a “Texas welfare verify” cellphone financial institution that made 151,000 calls on Wednesday to attach weak Texans to warming facilities, meals and different assets, as an example.

Some on-line likened Cruz to Marie Antoinette, the queen through the French Revolution who purportedly quipped “allow them to eat cake” when advised that the folks had been ravenous and had no bread.

“Allow them to fly to Cancun,” one detractor imagined Cruz replying when advised that Texans had been chilly.

Actor Billy Baldwin took it a step additional: “Allow them to eat snow.”

The Texas Democratic Get together issued its 21st demand for Cruz to resign, unsolicited recommendation that Cruz has lengthy shrugged off as political opportunism. Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa accused “Cancun Cruz” of “abandoning us in our biggest time of want,” and mentioned the holiday exhibits that “Texas Republicans don’t give a rattling about you or me.”

Such calls have include escalating frequency since Trump’s defeat in November, when Cruz started amplifying his false claims that the election had been stolen by means of fraud.

At American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic group, president Bradley Beychok mentioned Cruz was apparently “sipping mai tais on a seaside in Cancun” – although margaritas and cerveza can be extra frequent – as tens of millions of Texans freeze.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had just last year mocked California for having power outages during a severe heat wave. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“Senator Cruz ought to do his constituents a favor and keep on the seaside as a substitute of getting paid by taxpayers to do a job he clearly has little interest in doing,” he mentioned. “It’s been clear since he unapologetically helped incite a violent revolt on January 6 that Ted Cruz just isn’t match to symbolize Texas in the USA Senate. He must resign so Texans can have a Senator who really provides a rattling.”

CNN, Politico and different main shops had been hounding Cruz aides for any form of clarification, with no extra success than house state information media.

Punchbowl Information discovered what seemed to be Cruz’s title on the improve listing for a United flight again to Houston Thursday afternoon, suggesting a hasty retreat, although inside an hour, Cruz’s title had disappeared. Nor did it present up on improve lists for 2 later flights.

With Cruz aides ignoring inquiries, his plans remained one thing of a thriller.

The Senate has been in recess since Saturday afternoon, when Cruz and 44 different Republicans voted to acquit Trump on a cost of inciting revolt.

By Thursday morning, Cruz had remained quiet on-line. Shortly after the flight landed, he retweeted a tweet from Gov. Greg Abbott noting that 1.6 million clients had energy restored on Wednesday.

In December, Cruz hit Austin Mayor Steve Adler and different Democrats as “utter hypocrites” for ignoring pandemic tips to keep away from pointless journey.

“Don’t neglect @MayorAdler who took a non-public jet with eight folks to Cabo and WHILE IN CABO recorded a video telling Austinites to `keep house when you can…this isn’t the time to chill out.’” he tweeted.

Charlotte Clymer, a former spokesperson for the Human Rights Marketing campaign, quipped that she was “kinda shocked Ted Cruz is ready to fly anyplace with all his baggage” and that she anticipated to the radicalized Texas GOP to discover a solution to blame the uproar on Antifa.

“My grandmother is a third-generation Texan. She’s not in her own residence proper now. She’s at a relative’s home, the place their energy continues to be off, too, as a result of they’ve a hearth to maintain everybody comparatively heat. And Ted Cruz took a vacay to Cancún,” she wrote on Twitter.

Ted Cruz billboard on highway 360, just north of Lamar St. in Grand Prairie, Texas on Monday February 1, 2021.

Washington correspondent Tom Benning contributed to this report.