The internet is abuzz with witnesses saying they saw Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) taking a commercial flight to Cancún, Mexico as the state that elected him freezes, and his office is refusing to say whether he left the country or not.
A terrifying winter storm has knocked out power and gas to millions, stranding Texans without heat, water, and shelter. Some state officials are scrambling to find solutions during the unusually cold weather, and that’s when people started posting pictures of the senator going to Mexico.
Several pictures show a man that could be Cruz at an airport and boarding a plane. He is later seen getting off the plane in Mexico. He has a similar haircut to Cruz and a beard, and a woman who looks like Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz is nearby in some pictures.
Caught tonight! @TedCruz fleeing to CANCUN while his home state freezes with no running water or electricity
— Make it Rain ☔️🎸 (@Trx1000) February 18, 2021
Democratic organizer Keith Edwards noted that the man in the airport and plane pictures has a mask similar to one that Cruz wore in the Senate that says “Come and take it” with a cannon above it and a star, a reference to the 19th century Battle of Gonzales, a piece of Texas history.
Edwards said that the pictures came with a timestamp to show that they were taken today.
Hey Kathy — that screenshot was sent to me by the person who took the photos, showing the time taken was today.
Two people in my DMs sent photos of Ted on their flight today from Cancun.
The guy standing in the hat on the left pic is also the guy taking the picture on the right pic.twitter.com/KkAsOZfbzX
— Keith Edwards (@keithedwards) February 18, 2021
Even state Rep. Gene Wu (D) called Cruz out for leaving the country.
“Guess which US Senator from Texas flew to Cancun while the state was freezing to death and having to boil water?” he tweeted.
Guess which US Senator from Texas flew to Cancun while the state was freezing to death and having to boil water? pic.twitter.com/fNY00EmMMR
— Gene Wu (@GeneforTexas) February 18, 2021
Of course, none of this is confirmation that Cruz was on that flight to Cancún, and Twitter is descending into conspiracy theory territory comparing minute facial features, the ring, the headphones, and other small similarities between the man on the plane and Cruz.
But the entire thing could be cleared up if he’d just say that he’s in the U.S. – if, indeed, he is in the U.S. – yet his office isn’t even responding to requests for comment on the matter, not even from local media outlets.
This is important because, as Democrats are arguing, the crisis in Texas stems from the state’s Republican leadership, and Cruz packing up his bags and going on vacation while the state is in crisis is abdicating his responsibility.
“This is becoming the worst state-level policy disaster since the Flint water crisis,” said former HUD Secretary Julián Castro.
“We have state leadership — Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick — that want to point fingers at everything except the problem. For the last few decades, they have been the problem.”
“This is becoming the worst state-level policy disaster since the Flint water crisis,” says @JulianCastro.
“We have state leadership—Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick—that want to point fingers at everything except the problem. For the last few decades, they have been the problem." pic.twitter.com/2i9GxX4NFr
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) February 18, 2021
it’s all “we don’t need government only charity and personal initiative” until we actually need charity and personal initiative and then it’s “well what do you expect him to do”
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 18, 2021
This is not a third world country. This is Houston, Texas. I spotted a line of people filing up buckets of water from a spicket at Haden Park. Why? Millions either have no water or are under a Boil Water Advisory. pic.twitter.com/VHYH5Hbqjj
— Erica Simon (@EricaOnABC13) February 18, 2021