Senator Ted Cruz landed in Texas Thursday afternoon with an armed police escort amid outrage over his 24-hour trip to Mexico during a catastrophic storm in Lone Star state.
The Republican lawmaker could be seen chatting with two police officers who escorted him off his flight and cleared customs at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in a 37-second clip. obtained by CNN.
The former Republican presidential candidate unleashed a political maelstrom Wednesday night when he was photographed boarding a flight to Cancun as millions of Texans prepared for their fourth day without electricity or running water.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Cruz said he was only accompanying his daughters, 12 and 10, on a flight and was heading back to the United States.
“This has been an infuriating week for Texans,” Cruz wrote.
“The largest state in the largest country in the world has run out of power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping in neighbors’ houses. Our houses are freezing and our lights are out. Like millions of Texans, our family also lost heat and power, ”he wrote.
“With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good father, I flew with them last night and will be back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas, ”he added.
“We want to recover our energy, our water on and our homes hot. My team and I will continue to use all of our resources to keep Texans informed and safe. ”
The powerful storm brought freezing temperatures that wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid, leaving more than 3.4 million people without power on Wednesday.
At least 30 people have died, including a woman and a girl who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning when they sat in an attached garage while a car was running because there was no heat in their home.
Texans have been forced to crowd into furniture stores and hot shelters, while at least two Austin hospitals have been evacuated after losing running water.
On Thursday, 500,000 people were without power when Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered 7 million people, about a quarter of the state’s population, to boil their water before drinking it.