Ted Cruz Now Admits He Had Planned to Stay in Cancún Through the Weekend: 'It Was Obviously a Mistake'
After insisting that he was only dropping off his daughters in Cancún, Mexico, and did not intend to stay, Sen. Ted Cruz is admitting that he had planned on staying the weekend, and that it was a "mistake" to travel during the ongoing climate crisis in Texas.
"Whether the decision to go was tone-deaf — look, it was obviously a mistake," Cruz said, as captured in video by the Recount, once he arrived home to find protesters outside his house. "In hindsight, I wouldn't've done it."
"I was trying to be a dad," he said. In video footage of the senator speaking to reporters, protesters can be heard chanting for his resignation in the background.
"The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family," Cruz said during the impromptu press conference according to The New York Times.
"I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane because on the one hand, all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our family. That's something Texans have been doing across the state," Cruz said, CNN reports.
"But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously for the state of Texas and frankly, leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn't feel right and so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight I could take."
Cruz also told waiting media and protestors, that "as it became a bigger and bigger firestorm, it became all the more compelling that I needed to come back."
After more than 12 hours of silence from Cruz and his aides as to his whereabouts when he was first spotted with his family at a Houston airport Wednesday night, the senator's initial statements seemed to suggest that the international trip had been pre-planned.
But texts obtained by the Times show that the trip was hastily put together after two days without power because of the winter storm ravaging Texas this week.
According to the Times' report, Cruz's wife Heidi texted friends and neighbors asking if they'd like to join the family on a quick trip to Cancún for the rest of the week to get out of the "FREEZING" house.
"Anyone can or want to leave for the week?" she said, according to the Times. "We may go to Cancún," she wrote, later adding, "seriously."
No one on the text thread opted to join, the Times reported.
For more on Ted Cruz, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day podcast, and subscribe!
In another text, Heidi reportedly offered, "We have gas stove so at least we can heat water little that there is happy to help anyone we can too."
In an earlier statement on Thursday, Cruz said that he and his staff were "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."
Cruz's Cancún trip — which also goes against CDC travel guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic — has prompted major blowback from citizens across the country as well as other politicians.
Texas' Democratic Party called for Cruz's resignation, and Beto O'Rourke — a former Texas lawmaker who unsuccessfully challenged Cruz in the 2018 election — criticized him in an MSNBC appearance on Thursday.
Just days before his attempted vacation, Cruz urged Texans to "just stay home and hug your kids" amid the ongoing crisis.