Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has yet again addressed the controversy surrounding him flying to Mexico while a severe winter storm left millions of his constituents without power, saying his wife was “pretty pissed” that her texts about trip-planning were leaked and that people should “treat each other as human beings.”
Texts obtained last week by The New York Times show the senator’s wife, Heidi Cruz, messaged a group of friends, including some neighbours, as freezing weather took over Texas. “Anyone can or want to leave for the week?” she asked, adding, “We may go to Cancún.”
Cruz told the “Ruthless” podcast this week that someone leaking the texts was “a sign of how ridiculously politicised and nasty” the current political climate can be. He noted that he has both Republican and Democratic neighbours.
“Heidi’s pretty pissed” about the text leak, he said.
“You know, here’s a suggestion: Just don’t be assholes,” Cruz added. “Just treat each other as human beings. Have some degree, some modicum of respect.”
Cruz was seen on a United flight to Cancun last Wednesday night, as millions of people in his state had no heat, electricity or running water in the wake of the storm. After backlash on social media, he flew back to Texas the following morning.
In a statement issued early Thursday afternoon, Cruz denied that he was going to Cancun for a vacation and blamed his daughters for the journey.
“Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power, too,” he said, adding that he and his wife decided to allow their daughters 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.
Cruz later admitted that he had originally intended to stay with his family “through the weekend” but ultimately changed the flight home after seeing the widespread criticism.
“Where they’ve attacked Trump every day for four years, they don’t know what to do so they obsess over my taking my girls to the beach,” he said.
Since returning to Texas from Mexico, Cruz has helped some constituents affected by the storm. However, his work has paled in comparison to that of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). She flew to Texas over the weekend to help people there, and she created a fundraiser for relief efforts that has so far brought in more than $5 million.
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