Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz was widely mocked after a viral video showed a Texas crowd openly laughing at him after he tried to defend his infamous Cancún trip as Texans froze during a brutal and unprecedented winter storm.
Cruz faced considerable national backlash after he flew to Cancún while millions of people went without food and water as a result of the February 2021 Texas power disaster. At least 246 people were killed directly or indirectly; some estimates suggested as many as 702 people were killed as a result of the crisis.
While speaking over the weekend at The Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, he claimed his inability to "control the weather" influenced his decision to embark with his family on the trip.
“When we had a freeze–when the state was frozen–I don’t have the ability to control the weather. I don’t have the ability to string power lines."
"I was at home with my mom and my daughters. Our power was out like everyone else. So I made the decision to take my kids to the beach.”
Texans were not at all impressed—and openly laughed at him in response.
You can hear what Cruz said as well as the crowd's response in the video below.
Texas Democrat Colin Allred—who is running to replace Cruz in the Senate—pointed out that unlike Cruz, he was actually busy helping people during the storm:
"I don't know how to string up power lines either, but like so many other Texans who saw it was time to step up, I found my way to the food bank to help get resources to Texans."
You can see his post below.
Many were quick to call out the Senator themselves after the footage went viral.
Cruz has refused to take responsibility for his actions despite the criticisms about his ill-advised Cancún trip.
In an interview shortly after the controversy erupted with conservative radio host Dana Loesch, Cruz blamed criticism on "Trump withdrawal," implying that any and all criticism of his behavior amounted to little more than political histrionics because of former President Donald Trump's absence from the news cycle.
Cruz suggested that Trump "broke the media," accusing media outlets of merely wanting "to engage in political attacks." He claimed he went to Cancún to accompany his daughters, an apology that did not sit well with his critics either.
He insisted that his only faux pas had been simply "wanting to be a good dad," claiming he'd only accompanied them for a single night before flying back to Texas. However, Cruz’s social media accounts had not acknowledged any official travel.