Senator Ted Cruz gave a lengthy press briefing to reporters about his vacation to Mexico amid the Texas power crisis and rolling blackouts. The Q&A came as texts from his wife surfaced which revealed the planning of the Mexico trip, and additional news emerged that Cruz had taken a vacation to Jamaica in July.
Cruz abruptly returned home on Thursday after photos surfaced of him boarding a flight to Cancun, sparking outrage that he had abandoned his state amid its worst crisis in years.
The New York Times obtained texts sent by Cruz’s wife Heidi: “Text messages sent from Ms. Cruz to friends and Houston neighbors on Wednesday revealed a hastily planned trip. Their house was ‘FREEZING,’ as Ms. Cruz put it — and she proposed a getaway until Sunday. Ms. Cruz invited others to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún, where they had stayed ‘many times,’ noting the room price this week ($309 per night) and its good security. The text messages were provided to The New York Times and confirmed by a second person on the thread, who declined to be identified because of the private nature of the texts.”
Cruz gave an interview to reporters on Thursday night (see full interview below).
Said Cruz to reporters: “This has been a hard week for the state of Texas. … The last 24 hours it has become a news story and a bit of a Twitter sensation that I went with my family traveled yesterday to Mexico. … We had spent two days without power and my girls wanted to take a trip with their friends and frankly get somewhere where it was warmer. And Heidi and I agreed. We took them last night and I just flew back today.”
“The plan had been to stay through the weekend,” Cruz acknowledged. “I have to admit, I started having second thoughts the moment I sat down on that plane.”
I certainly regret that this has become a distraction,” Cruz continued. … “It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it. I was trying to be a dad, and all of us have made decisions — when you’ve got two girls who have been cold for two days and haven’t had heater power, and they’re saying ‘Hey, look we don’t have school why don’t we go, let’s get out of here.’ I think there are a lot of parents that would be like, ‘Look, if I can do this great.’ That’s what I wanted to do. [As I said] really from the moment I sat on the plane, I began really second-guessing that decision, and saying ‘Look, I know why we’re doing this, but I’ve also got responsibilities, and it had been my intention to be able to work remotely, to be on the phone, to be on the internet, to be on Zoom, to be engaged, but I needed to be here and that’s why I came back.”
News also emerged that Cruz had taken a previously unreported vacation in Jamaica in July, violating CDC recommendations.
The Washington Post reports: “Cruz also traveled to Jamaica during the Senate’s Fourth of July holiday break last year, flouting public health recommendations to minimize travel during the coronavirus pandemic, said two people with knowledge of Cruz’s schedule, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the senator’s private travel plans. Cruz was visiting a longtime friend from college, the people said. At the time, the CDC had issued a recommendation that Americans ‘avoid all nonessential international travel,’ in an attempt to minimize the risk of contracting the virus. Cruz’s office did not respond to a request for comment.”