Ted Cruz Recounts Fireplace Family Huddle in Frozen Texas That Led to Cancun Vacation

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) explained on Thursday that freezing conditions in Texas led him, his wife Heidi and his daughters to fly to Cancun, Mexico in search of warmer weather.

Cruz spoke to Fox News' Sean Hannity following widespread criticism of his decision to travel to Mexico while large numbers of Texas residents remained without power or heat.

Photos of the senator at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas and reports of him on a United Airlines airplane to Cancun went viral on social media on Thursday. His office later confirmed the trip.

"Heidi and me, we lost power for two days," Cruz told Hannity. "Our house was dark. We had no heat.

"We were all huddled around the fireplace because it was the only heat in the house, and after a couple of days of the girls being really cold and it being in the teens in the twenties outside, our girls said 'Look, school has been canceled for the week. Can we take a trip and go somewhere warm?'"

"And Heidi and I, as parents, we said 'Okay, sure.'"

"And so last night I flew down with them to the beach and then I flew back this afternoon," he went on. "I had initially planned to stay through the weekend, but as I was heading down there, you know, I started to have second thoughts almost immediately because the crisis here in Texas, you need to be here on the ground."

We need to make sure Texas power grid failures never happen again. pic.twitter.com/hTrp6k4PwE

— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 19, 2021

"As much as you can do by phone and Zoom, it's not the same as being here," Cruz said.

Cruz' comments appear to contradict a statement he issued yesterday that implied he had only gone to Mexico for one night in order to drop off his family and intended to return to the U.S. promptly.

"Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon," the statement said.

The senator also spoke to reporters on Thursday after returning to his home. He admitted that the decision to leave the country was a mistake. More than four million Texans had been left without power due to mass failure of the state's electrical grid in freezing temperatures over the past week.

"Whether the decision to go was tone-deaf, look, it was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn't have done it. I was trying to be a dad," Cruz told journalists as some people present shouted "Resign."

Around 350,000 people in Texas were still without power yesterday, according to NPR, while issues remain around the winter storms and providing adequate water supplies to those affected.

Ted Cruz Checks in for His Flight
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) checks in for a flight at Cancun International Airport after a backlash over his Mexican family vacation as his home state of Texas endured a Winter storm on February 18, 2021 in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Republican has faced strong criticism for the trip. MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images