On Saturday, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas posted photos of himself passing out water to Texans. In the post, Cruz can be seen loading water into cars while talking with presumably local residents. Included in the tweet is the hashtag, “#TexasStrong.”
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 21, 2021
His actions come after receiving backlash last week for leaving Texas to go with his family to Cancun while the state experienced extreme weather conditions. When Cruz returned from Cancun, he admitted his regret.
According to NBC News:
After Cruz’s Senate office did not respond to repeated requests for comment Thursday, Cruz released a statement explaining his decision to leave the state and said he was returning home Thursday afternoon. He said that it has be an “infuriating week for Texans” and that his family had “lost heat and power, too.”
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” the statement said. “Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas.”
“We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe,” he added.
After receiving criticism for appearing to take a vacation during a crisis, Cruz reportedly changed his return flight and came back to Texas. When he arrived back in Houston, Cruz said, “It was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it.”
Some took to Twitter to criticize the senator for passing out water over the weekend, while others said that he was helping.
One user seemed to defend Cruz, saying, “You can be mad that he left or you can be mad that he’s helping. You can’t pick both.” Others said that he wasn’t helping, but rather using the situation to stage a photo-op. The previous user responded, saying, “Ok. Photo oping is pretty much the extent of what a congressperson can do in their ‘official capacity.’ So why be angry at him going on vacation?”
Last week, the media’s coverage and reaction to Cruz’s actions were seen by some to be uneven compared with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York’s nursing home scandal. Fox News reported that “ABC’s ‘World News Night’ devoted roughly four times more coverage Thursday to the Cancun controversy surrounding Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, than the growing legal problems faced by Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.”
Additional concerns regarding the reporting of the Cruz story have come to light in recent days.
The Daily Wire reported on Sunday that United Airlines is looking into the details of how Cruz’s flight information was leaked:
Cruz, who made headlines for his turnaround trip, was photographed in an airport Wednesday. After apparently realizing the difficult optics associated with such a public trip, Cruz released a statement suggesting he was doing a quick turnaround and would return to Houston Thursday.
A United Airlines employee, though, accessed Cruz’s data and discovered that the Texas Senator had switched his flight, rebooking for Thursday from a Saturday return, in stark contrast to the Senator’s public statement. The employee then, it seems, revealed the discrepancy to a reporter.
“Spoke to a source at United Airlines, Senator Ted Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for this afternoon at around 6 a.m. today (Thursday). He was originally scheduled to return on Saturday,” airlines reporter Edward Russell noted on Twitter.
That information is supposed to be confidential according to United Airlines company policy, and it is against company policy to leak it or make it public in any way.
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