A series of new text messages appear to show Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz talking to neighbors about a getaway to Cancun as the state endures freezing temperatures and widespread power outages.
The text messages contradict Cruz’s previous explanation for the trip, where he pinned it to his daughters’ request for a getaway during a school break. The New York Times reported about and confirmed the text messages, citing a person in the group and the original sender. Insider could not independently confirm the text messages.
In a group chat with a name referring to the street the Cruz family lives on, Heidi Cruz appears to have taken an active role in planning the getaway. In one text, a contact identified in screenshots as Heidi Cruz says the family stayed with a neighbor who had power and then suggests a trip to Cancun.
In the last image provided to Insider, the number identified as Heidi Cruz sends information for United Flight 1020 leaving Houston at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, returning to Houston on United Flight 1019 on Sunday.
After a firestorm of criticism, and a swift return to Texas, Cruz offered a new statement with a different tone from earlier in the day, when he had tried to explain the vacation without regrets and left the impression that it might have always been a one-day trip for him. Speaking to reporters after his arrival home, he conceded that the trip was “obviously a mistake” and said he had begun having “second thoughts” as soon as he boarded the plane to Mexico intent on a few days of remote work in the sun.
“The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family,” he said, framing the decision as a parent’s attempt to placate his two daughters, ages 10 and 12, after a “tough week.”
“On the one hand, all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our families,” Mr. Cruz said. “But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously of fighting for the state of Texas.”
Mr. Cruz’s critics quickly circulated hashtags mocking his trip: #FlyinTed, a play on former President Donald J. Trump’s derisive nickname for Mr. Cruz during the 2016 primary race, and #FledCruz, among them. Some Democratic groups sought to fund-raise off the episode, and the state Democratic Party renewed its calls for Mr. Cruz’s resignation.