In February of 2021 while the state of Texas faced multiple deadly winter storms and millions of residents lost power, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took his family on a trip to Cancun, Mexico.
The public first became aware of Cruz’s trip after a passenger on the flight to Mexico released an image of Cruz on the plane. The photo of Cruz trended on Twitter, and many began to question the optics of taking a trip while his state faced such a big problem. The Cruz family apparently left behind their poodle named Snowflake despite cold temperatures in the house.
Leaks of a group chat involving Heidi Cruz, Sen. Cruz’s wife, revealed internal planning for the Cancun trip.
After the photos came out, congressional reporters then began to make inquiries to Cruz’s congressional office, asking them to verify whether he was on vacation or not. Usually responsive, Cruz’s team did not respond to inquiries from reporters at major outlets like CNN.
Cruz reportedly stayed at the Ritz Carlton hotel, paying $380 per night for the room.
Cruz faced criticism from the public at large and from elected officials for his impromptu trip. Hundreds of memes were circulated online mocking Cruz for the trip, with most of them centered around images of the senator carrying his bags at the airport.
Cruz Comes Clean
In a statement, Cruz eventually admitted that he had taken the Cancun trip. He claimed that he had taken the trip to chaperone his daughters as they visited the city. After the controversy, Cruz booked a flight back to the United States and was photographed by a Reuters photographer boarding his flight, wearing a protective mask in the design of the Texas state flag.
Senator Ted Cruz carries his luggage at the Cancun International Airport before boarding his plane back to the U.S., in Cancun, Mexico. Photo by Stringer pic.twitter.com/KKDtldAXoE
— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins) February 18, 2021
NBC reported that Cruz only booked his return trip after being criticized. He initially had planned to return on a Saturday, and not on a Thursday as he eventually did. Cruz reportedly booked a ticket for the later date. Cruz claimed he took the trip in order to be a “good dad,” but admitted that the vacation was a “mistake.”