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Cruz returning to Texas amid backlash over Cancun trip while millions lost power in his state during a fatal winter storm

Summary List PlacementRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is traveling back to Houston from Cancun, Mexico, on Thursday, CNN first reported, as he faces on onslaught of criticism for taking a vacation while his state faces a severe winter storm. The family trip had been planned a long time ago,...

Ted Cruz

Summary List Placement

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is traveling back to Houston from Cancun, Mexico, on Thursday, CNN first reported, as he faces on onslaught of criticism for taking a vacation while his state faces a severe winter storm.

The family trip had been planned a long time ago, but Cruz was expected to return imminently, a source told the Associated Press. Images apparently showing Cruz on a standby list for a flight from Cancun to Houston also surfaced on social media on Thursday morning, but his name eventually disappeared.

Hours after the news broke on his trip to Cancun, Cruz in a statement confirmed his plans to return to Texas on Thursday. 

“This has been an infuriating week for Texas,” Cruz said. “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.”

The Texas lawmaker said his team has been in “constant communication” with state and local leaders to “get to the bottom of what happened in Texas.”

The storm has left millions of Texans without power, heat, and potable water amid record-low temperatures. 

Cruz left for Mexico on Wednesday.

Many were seemingly enraged by the prospect of the senator abandoning his state as it struggles to contend with the devastating storm.

Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat and former House member who ran against Cruz in 2018, excoriated the Texas senator over his trip. In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, O’Rourke discussed Cruz’s role in the Capitol attack on January 6 and took a swipe at the Texas Republican for leaving their state when he did. 

“Unless we hold those responsible accountable for what they did — yes, that means Donald Trump, but it also means the junior senator from the state of Texas, who I understand is vacationing in Cancun right now, when people are literally freezing to death in the state he was elected to represent and serve,” O’Rourke said. 

Cruz was also widely lambasted on Twitter over his Cancun trip, including by other congressional lawmakers. 

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Cruz’s office did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment. 

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