Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) responded to allegations that he flew to Cancun, Mexico, in the midst of record cold temperatures and snowfall in Texas—which has been besieged by power outages over the past several days.
Cruz appeared to confirm that he went to Cancun, saying that “with school canceled 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.”
“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” he said in a statement on Thursday, referring to the power outages and, in some cases, loss of water.
He said that Texans “want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”
It came as photos circulating on social media showed a man who resembles Cruz in the airport in Cancun. Another photo showed a man resembling the Texas senator on a plane. Several news outlets, including Fox News, The Associated Press, and CNN reported that Cruz traveled to the Mexican resort area, although details are scant and the outlets used anonymous sources.
Amid speculation that Cruz could be tapped as the Republican presidential candidate in 2024, a bevy of celebrities and prominent Democrats—seemingly starved of engagement in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter ban—jumped at the opportunity to criticize him on social media after reports emerged of his trip. Some Democrats said Cruz should resign from office.
“That’s something that he has to answer to his constituents about,” state Republican Party Chairman Allen West, a former Congress member, told The Associated Press in response to a question about Cruz’s trip. “I’m here trying to take care of my family and look after my friends and others that are still without power,” West said. “That’s my focus.”
Hundreds of thousands of people in Texas woke up Thursday to a fourth day without power, and a water crisis was unfolding after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities. Texas officials ordered 7 million people—one-quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state—to boil tap water before drinking the water, after days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Cruz’s office for comment.
Earlier this month, Cruz’s office dismissed calls for his resignation following his challenge to Arizona’s electoral votes during the Jan. 6 certification.
“The left–and some grifters on the right–are consumed by partisan anger and rage,” his office said at the time. “Sen. Cruz will continue to work for 29 million Texans in the Senate.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.