Beto O'Rourke Slams Ted Cruz for Flying to Cancun While Texans Are 'Freezing to Death'

Former Congressman Beto O'Rourke criticized Texas Senator Ted Cruz for apparently flying to Mexico while millions remained without power in the state amid freezing weather.

O'Rourke, a former Texas representative, spoke to MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday about the situation in his home state and highlighted the viral photos of Cruz, which purportedly showed the senator on an airplane heading to Cancun.

Newsweek asked Cruz's office for comment on the matter but had received no reply at the time of publication. Other media outlets, including major Texas newspapers, also reported that Cruz had not responded to questions about the flight.

O'Rourke told MSNBC that Cruz "is vacationing in Cancun right now when people are literally freezing to death in the state that he was elected to represent and serve."

He also took aim at the Republican leadership in the state. Governor Greg Abbott previously blamed green energy for the crisis, despite the fact the state is largely dependent on fossil fuels such as gas.

"In Texas, you have an example of what happens when a state is governed by those who do not believe in government, to begin with," O'Rourke said.

"The Republican Party, as you know Mika [Brzezinski], has had absolute control of the state Senate, the state house, the governor, the lieutenant governor, every state-wide office for the last 20 years," he said.

Though Cruz has not confirmed if he and his family have traveled to Mexico, evidence appears to be growing. The Associated Press reported on Thursday that a source confirmed he had gone to Mexico on a planned family vacation but would return immediately. AP said the source spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United Airlines website had listed an R. Cruz as one of the passengers checked in for yesterday's 4.45pm CST flight from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to Cancun. Cruz' full name is Rafael Edward Cruz.

The webpage showed the passenger in question standing by for an upgrade to business class. However, the passenger name R. Cruz was later removed. It was listed when Newsweek originally accessed it.

"Cancun" was the top trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. on Thursday morning and a tweet from former MSNBC anchor David Shuster featuring a photo of Cruz on an airplane has now been shared more than 40,000 times.

Shuster responded to doubts raised about the photo on Twitter, saying: "Fair questions about the nature of the "sourcing." To be clear, the confirmation is from multiple eye witnesses of @tedcruz @heidicruz in Cancun. Cruz Senate staff are refusing to comment."

Fox News journalist Chad Pergram, who covers Congress for the network, reported that Cruz had flown out of the country on Twitter.

"Colleague Paul Steinhauser confirms GOP TX Sen Ted Cruz traveled to Cancun amid the TX storm/power outages. GOP Source: 'the photos speak for themselves,'" he wrote.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz Is Facing Criticism
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee hearing to examine the nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be Secretary of Transportation on January 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Cruz has been criticized for photos apparently showing him traveling to Mexico. Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images