Sen. Ted Cruz now claims it was “obviously a mistake” to escape Texas for Cancun as his home state reels from catastrophic power outages and deadly winter weather.
Amid blistering criticism, Cruz cut his trip to the Mexican resort short by two days, according to the Dallas Morning News. He returned to Houston Thursday night where he was greeted by a police escort as some 500,000 Texas remained in the dark and about 7 million people were under a boil water advisory.
In a statement released during the day, the Republican blamed the getaway on his young daughters, saying he was only chaperoning them to Mexico. After touching down in the US, he apologized for the tone-deaf trip, but doubled down on his parenting skills.
“It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,” he told reporters outside the airport, according to the newspaper.
“I was trying to make decisions. When you’ve got two girls who’ve been cold for two days and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Look we don’t have school why don’t we go, let’s get out of here.’”
Angry Texans can be heard chanting “resign” in footage of the impromptu press conference tweeted by The Recount.
Cruz’s written statement earlier in the day read in part: “The greatest state in the greatest country in the world has been without power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping at the neighbors’ house. Our homes are freezing and our lights are out. Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power, too.
“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. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” he added.
“We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.”
President Biden declared a state of emergency in Texas earlier in the week, to allow FEMA to assist warming centers and shelters stretched to their max.
The conditions have led to the death of at least 30 people across the region, which continued to be frozen by record low temperatures Thursday night.