Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday he’s returning to Texas from Mexico following a public outcry over his trip to the resort playground of Cancun, while millions of Texans were suffering in a winter storm without heat or drinkable water.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the Texas Republican confirmed the trip but said he had only spent one night in Cancun to be a “good dad” to his daughters. He said he has been in constant contact with Texas officials.
“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,” he said.
Photographs of Mr. Cruz at the airport with his wife Heidi and one daughter, as well as on board an airplane, went viral on Twitter Wednesday night while millions of Texans are stuck without water, heat and power during freezing temperatures.
The images were met with widespread criticism in Texas and from liberals, who pointed to Mr. Cruz having criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, for showing off expensive ice cream in her San Francisco home during the COVID-19 pandemic, or his past criticism of former President Obama’s golf trips.
“Just remembering the time Ted Cruz got mad about Nancy Pelosi eating ice cream,” tweeted Tim Hogan, a Democratic consultant.
SEE ALSO: Ted Cruz flew to Cancun amid Texas power outages, freeze: Report
As of Wednesday when the senator flew south, more than a million Texans did not have power and seven million were under boil-water orders — if they had access to water at all.
Jeff Sites, a Democratic congressional candidate in Ohio, tweeted a link to a news story with options to donate resources for Texans in need.
“If you’d like to do more for Texas than Ted Cruz, the @TexasTribune has links to nonprofits that could use your donations,” Mr. Sites wrote.
Conservative radio host Erick Erickson, though, came to Mr. Cruz‘s defense.
“The fact that people think Ted Cruz, a United States Senator, can do anything about a state power grid, even his own, is rather demonstrative of the ignorance of so many people who cover politics. They’d rather performative drama than substance,” he tweeted.