Sen. Ted Cruz faces controversy for flying to Cancun as Texans have no power caused by severe weather 1

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz was in Cancun, Mexico, for less than 24 hours before he abruptly changed his original plan. Cruz told reporters that the “plan had been to stay through the weekend,” but he changed his itinerary after seeing the “firestorm” brewing over the trip.

“When I arrived and saw the initial firestorm, what had started as second thoughts that I had as soon as we left grew even greater,” Cruz said.

Cruz agreed that the trip was “obviously a mistake,” stating that he had “second thoughts” soon after boarding the plane. “I was trying to be a dad,” Cruz said.

“On the one hand, all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our families,” Cruz said. “But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously of fighting for the state of Texas.”

Text messages among a group of Cruz’s neighbors, as first reported by the New York Times, show Cruz’s wife growing frustrated with the power outage at their home and inviting others to join them on a possible trip to Cancun.

“Our house is FREEZING,” Heidi Cruz wrote to the group, noting that their family “couldn’t stand it anymore” and had to stay elsewhere the night before. The text messages were provided to The Washington Post by American Bridge, a Democratic group, and confirmed by a recipient on the text chain who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

Heidi Cruz also texted the group information for flights departing Houston on Wednesday and returning from Cancun on Sunday, with a note about the $309-per-night rate at the Ritz-Carlton Cancun.

As of Thursday evening, at least 34 deaths were attributed to the storm, 20 of the victims were from Texas. More than 350,000 residents were still without power.