Texas Senator Vacations in Mexico: “It was a mistake”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz said his family vacation to Cancun, Mexico “obviously” was a mistake, after he returned to his state after a wave of outrage over his absence during an intense winter storm that has left dozens of deaths in the United States. United.

Cruz said he began to doubt the relevance of making the trip as soon as he got on the plane. “In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he told reporters.

The Associated Press and other media outlets reported that the senator had traveled out of the country with his family as hundreds of thousands of Texans continue to grapple with the ravages of a winter storm that affected the state’s power supply.

The trip drew criticism from members of both political parties and is thought to have possibly undermined his political ambitions.

In a previous statement Thursday, Cruz said he accompanied his family to Cancun, Mexico, after his daughters asked him to go on a trip with some friends, since classes were suspended for the rest of the week.

“Wanting to be a good father, I traveled with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz wrote.

“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local authorities to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” he said. “We want our electricity to return, our water, and our houses to be warm again.”

Cruz told reporters Thursday night that he returned to the United States because he realized he needed to be in Texas. He added that he had originally scheduled to stay in Mexico for the entire weekend.

“I didn’t want all the shouting about this trip to distract for even a moment from the real issues that I think Texans care about, which is keeping all of our families safe,” Cruz said.

“Obviously it was a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he added.

The intense criticism emerged in a context in which Cruz intends to try again to obtain the Republican presidential candidacy in 2024. He was already one of the most vilified Republicans in Congress, having made opponents from across the political spectrum with a career defined by politics of extreme right and disputes with the leadership of his party.

He recently emerged as a figure in former President Donald Trump’s attempt to reverse the results of the presidential election held in November last year. And a few weeks ago, there were signs along Texas freeways calling for his resignation.

Even the chairman of the state Republican Party refused to come to Cruz’s defense on Thursday.

“That’s something he has to answer to his constituents,” said Allen West, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, after being asked if Cruz’s trip was appropriate while Texans had no electricity or water.

“I’m here trying to take care of my family and my friends and other people who have lost power,” West said. “I’m focused on that.”

Hundreds of thousands of Texans woke up Thursday without power for the fourth day, and with a water crisis unfolding, as the winter storm wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and other basic services.

Texas authorities ordered 7 million people, a quarter of the inhabitants of the nation’s second most populous state, to boil their drinking water before drinking it, as freezing temperatures have damaged infrastructure and frozen pipes.

In Austin, some hospitals were grappling with loss of water pressure and, in some cases, heating.

News of Cruz’s absence quickly caught on in the state.

Livia Treviño, a 24-year-old woman whose Austin home was still without water on Thursday, said she felt abandoned by government leaders.

“They are taking vacations and leaving the country, so they don’t have to deal with this, and we are freezing to death. We don’t have water and we don’t have food, ”he said.

In his statement, Cruz noted that his family had also been left without heat and electricity.

“This has been an infuriating week for Texans,” he wrote.

Although the situation does not help his political future, Cruz, who is in his second term, is not in any immediate political danger. His current term expires in early 2025, and the unofficial start of the next GOP presidential primary election is two years away.

Still, Democrats in Washington were very willing to talk about the controversy.

One of Cruz’s biggest critics, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, encouraged her supporters Thursday to volunteer for a condition-checking phone service to help Texans affected by the storm.

“Many elected leaders in Texas have failed their constituents,” the Democrat wrote in an email. “Instead of focusing on helping, they have preferred to appear on Fox News to spread lies or board a plane to Cancun.”

Hours earlier, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki took a question about Cruz’s “whereabouts.”

“I have no update on the exact location of Senator Ted Cruz and neither does anyone in the White House,” Psaki responded, adding that the administration of President Joe Biden is focused on “working directly with the authorities in Texas and the state nearby to face the winter storm and the ongoing crisis ”.

Cruz’s office declined to answer specific questions about the family’s vacation, but his staff contacted the Houston Police Department Wednesday afternoon to report that the senator would arrive at the airport, according to Jodi Silva, a spokeswoman for the police department. He added that the agents “monitored his movements” while Cruz was at the airport.

Silva did not say if such requests are common for Cruz’s trips or if his staff had previously made a similar request for his return flight.

Federal Capitol Police officers and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms have asked legislators and their staff to be aware of potential threats and to consider informing authorities about their travel at airports and other transportation hubs.

Cruz’s office did not immediately say whether the senator would self-quarantine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked people who have traveled to be tested for coronavirus three to five days after their return and to self-quarantine for a week, regardless of the result of your tests.

Cruz checked in for his return flight Thursday afternoon in Cancun and walked quickly through the terminal pulling a suitcase toward the security zone. He was wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and a mask designed like the Texas flag.

The senator was accompanied by a man who spoke Spanish and wore a black T-shirt with the name and logo of The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain.

Cruz told reporters that he planned to “go home and continue working so that the network is reopened, so that electricity is restored and water returns.”

“Many Texans are suffering and this crisis is frustrating. It is frustrating for millions of Texans. It shouldn’t happen ”something like that, he said.