Text messages show Cruz's wife complained the family's home was "FREEZING" and invited others to join the family at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún.
'Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon, ' Cruz wrote. Among the leaders who urged caution in these unusual conditions was Senator Ted Cruz, who recommended that Texans stay off the roads and not risk driving on the ice.
Social media has made it almost impossible for public figures to move about undetected and photos of Cruz at a Houston airport on Wednesday were met with swift condemnation.
As the backlash grew, Cruz abruptly changed plans and returned to Texas on Thursday.
"In hindsight, if I had understood how it would be perceived, the reaction people would have had, obviously I wouldn't have done it", said Cruz in an interview with ABC News.
Cruz, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2016, won re-election to the Senate in 2018 by eking out a victory over Democrat Beto O'Rourke by less than 3 percentage points.
More than 50 people have died in an Arctic freeze from a winter storm that has left millions without power, heat, and water supply in a state famed for warm weather.
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"It was a mistake", Cruz told reporters outside his home Thursday evening, according to ABC affiliate KTRK.
"This has been an infuriating week for Texans", he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz flew to Cancun Wednesday amid a state of emergency in Texas as millions of people are stuck without water, heat and power during freezing temperatures. His current term expires in early 2025, and the unofficial beginning of the next Republican presidential primary election is two years away.
Cruz's office did not immediately say whether the senator would self-quarantine. She said officers "monitored his movements" while Cruz was at the airport.
This is the state of the border between Texas and Arkansas. As well, Mayor Quimby tells everyone to stay home. Meanwhile, cities including Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio had warned those fortunate enough to have taps that they needed to boil water to safely drink it-which many couldn't do because they didn't have power for their electric stoves.
"A lot of Texans are hurting and this crisis is frustrating". Meanwhile, a congresswoman from NY - whom that TX Senator regularly uses as a punching bag - just raised a million dollars for Texans.
Cruz carries his luggage at the Cancun International Airport in Mexico before boarding a plane back to the USA on Thursday.