“As it became a bigger and bigger firestorm, it became all the more compelling that I needed to come back,” he added.
Mr. Cruz’s critics rapidly circulated hashtags mocking his journey: #FlyinTed, a play on former President Donald J. Trump’s derisive nickname for Mr. Cruz throughout the 2016 major race, and #FledCruz, amongst them. Some Democratic teams sought to fund-raise off the episode, and the state Democratic Party renewed its requires Mr. Cruz’s resignation.
“This is about as callous as any politician can get,” mentioned Gilberto Hinojosa, the Texas Democratic Party chairman. Mr. Hinojosa mentioned he was shocked however not shocked by Mr. Cruz’s worldwide tour: “He’s a politician that really has never cared much about anybody but himself.”
Untimely holidays and opulent splurges have lengthy ensnared politicians in scandals and public-relations complications: the worldwide journeys organized by the disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff within the early 2000s for members of Congress; Chris Christie, then the governor of New Jersey, sitting on a state seaside in 2017 after he had ordered such seashores closed due to a authorities shutdown; and, extra not too long ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California eating with out a masks throughout the pandemic final 12 months on the high-end restaurant the French Laundry.
Mr. Cruz’s determination to depart his state in the course of an emergency was an particularly confounding one for an formidable politician who has already run for president as soon as and is extensively seen as desirous to run once more in 2024 or past.
“It was clearly an error in judgment,” mentioned Ray Sullivan, an Austin-based Republican strategist who served as chief of workers to former Gov. Rick Perry. While a senator can’t personally restore the ability grid, Mr. Sullivan mentioned, “people expect their elected officials to be fully engaged during a crisis.”
Mr. Cruz, 50, narrowly received re-election in 2018 in opposition to Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic former congressman, carrying lower than 51 % of the vote. In that race, Mr. Cruz had aggressively highlighted his efforts throughout a previous emergency, Hurricane Harvey. He just isn’t up for re-election till 2024.