U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has fled to Mexico. As Texans face blackouts, harsh and unusually cold weather, flooding concerns, lack of heat, and general chaos in trying to get everything from groceries to running water, photos of the Republican senator flying to Cancun, Mexico, have gone viral. Cruz’s office has not released an official comment, and Cruz’s social media does not mention the trip. Mind you, this is international travel during a literal global pandemic.
That said, Fox journalist Chad Pergram tweeted that fellow Fox News reporter Paul Steinhauser confirmed Cruz did indeed travel to Mexico. The source reportedly said “the photos speak for themselves.” As my colleague Mark Sumner points out, as ever with the GOP, there’s always the possibility they’ll keep things vague and confusing with the hope of saying, “Hey, that’s fake news!” later on. Let’s dive into what social media has to say about the situation below.
First, the tweet from Pergram confirms the story.
As some background, photos of Cruz traveling to Mexico gained traction on Wednesday night.
Note the same face mask.
People are, of course, livid. And how does social media deal with frustration, anger, and disappointment? Jokes!
Who will Cruz try to blame? Progressives, probably.
In addition to jokes, people are also comparing Cruz’s response to the crisis to that of former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
O’Rourke himself also mentioned Cruz’s alleged trip during an interview on Thursday morning. “Unless we hold those responsible accountable for what they did,” O’Rourke stated. “Yes, that means Donald Trump, but it also means the junior senator from the state of Texas, who I understand is vacationing in Cancun right now when people are literally freezing to death in the state he was elected to represent and serve.”
And though social media isn’t talking about them quite as much as O’Rourke, both Julián and Rep. Joaquin Castro have been working seriously hard to take care of Texans in need during this crisis.
And last but not least, some are speculating that Cruz not only slunk off to Mexico but that he’s already on his way back. This speculation is based on the upgrade list for a United flight below, with the assumption that “CRU R” is him.
Meanwhile, people are still battling COVID-19, unemployment, and, in Texas, once-in-a-lifetime weather disasters.
Update: Edward Russell claims they spoke to a source at United Airlines who said Cruz was originally booked to return on Saturday and rebooked his return flight for Thursday.
Update: Cruz finally issued a statement.