To illustrate the effects of a deadly Arctic blast that had pummeled much of the United States this week, leaving millions of people shivering and in the dark, Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” homed in on the plight of a particularly well-known resident of Houston.
“One poor Texan,” Noah noted during his monologue on Thursday, “had to travel 800 miles just to get heat, water and electricity.”
Of course, the late-night comic was referring to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who earlier in the day confirmed that he had abandoned the freezing temperatures in Texas — where sustained power outages have left at least 30 people dead — for a tropical vacation in Cancun with his family.
“I’m not even mad that you were selfish,” Noah said, addressing the senator directly. “I’m mad that you were so stupid. How can you be in politics for 10 years and still have no idea how bad this would make you look?”ADhttps://0487d06eed5530a1f6abd20c4cdce11a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
As Cruz would quickly learn on Thursday, his trip to the Yucatán would not just make him look bad. It would, within a matter of hours, cast him as the object of many Texans’ ire — and the butt of many a joke on late-night TV and around the Internet.
With reports of Texans having to boil snow just to be able to flush the toilet or burning furniture to stay warm, several late-night hosts and cable news pundits highlighted the cruel discrepancies between “the world’s shortest spring break” and the reality for many of his constituents.
“I get that Ted Cruz is tired. The man deserves a break after trying to overthrow the government, but this is not the time, Ted,” Noah quipped, hinting at Cruz’s support for President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud that fed into the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. But “when your constituents said they need clean water, they didn’t mean go find a wet T-shirt contest in Cancun.”
On ABC, Jimmy Kimmel called Cruz “a snake on a plane,” highlighting the senator’s past support for Trump’s aggressive security measures on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Where was Mr. Texas while his constituents are suffering?” the ABC host asked. “Well, there he is on a plane. … Ironically, to the very place he tried to build a wall around.
Cruz, whose home had reportedly been without electricity but still had gas, called the trip “a mistake” and expressed regret for getting on the plane in the first place.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” he wrote in a statement Thursday. “Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”
But even that explanation drew ridicule, with many commentators pointing out both his itinerary and luggage seemed to indicate that a return trip on Thursday had not been part of the original plan. As first reported by Skift — and later confirmed by Cruz — the senator had initially been set to stay in Cancun for another two days.