Ted Cruz flies to Cancun as frozen Texas battles deadly power outages

Sen. Ted Cruz R-Texas wears a face mask as he arrives for a confirmation hearing for Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg before the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee on Capitol Hill Thursday Jan. 21 2021 in Washington

"Cruz seems to believe there isn't much for him to do in Texas for the millions of fellow Texans who remain without electricity/water and are literally freezing." former MSNBC anchor David Shuster tweeted shortly after midnight.

The photos do not conclusively show that Cruz was headed south of the border but Twitter users posted numerous clues like airport signs suggesting that he was on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Cancun Wednesday afternoon.

"With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends", the senator said in a statement.

Analysis: Cruz's Cancun trip violates an unwritten rule of politics.

He added that he and his team are in constant communication with state and local leaders to figure out why the winter storm led to widespread power outages and boil-water advisories.

"We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm", Cruz said.

Jodi Silva, a Houston Police Department spokeswoman, told The New York Times that a member of Cruz's staff contacted officials at the city's George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday afternoon to request assistance.

Cruz headed to Cancun, Mexico, for a long-planned family vacation, various media outlets had reported, including The Associated Press, CNN and Fox News.

"Texans are dying and you're on a flight to Cancun".

Cruz and other Texas Republicans were already under fierce attack for failing to prepare for the catastrophic winter storm and Arctic blast that has virtually brought the nation's second-most-populous state to its knees.

Gene Wu, a Democrat who serves in the Texas House of Representatives, said Cruz's trip was "on-brand".

Just on Monday Cruz had urged residents to stay home in a radio interview that was shared on YouTube by his office in which he said: "So don't risk it. Keep your family safe and just stay home and hug your kids".

The blame for the outages has largely been placed on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

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. Power is slowly being restored to homes.

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