WASHINGTON – Ted Cruz has turned to outrage at how he was treated for his aborted getaway to Cancun, setting aside contrition for fleeing Texas as millions suffered without electricity and water last week.
The senator lashed out at the paparazzi photos of his wife on the beach and who leaked his text messages about the trip. He blamed the uproar on media eager for a new obsession to fill the void left by Donald Trump’s departure from the national stage.
And he insisted that the family poodle was not left in a cold house, despite a photo of the puppy peeking out from the front door, white and fluffy and perhaps helpless.
“I love Snowflake. I was at home with a dog sitter and in fact the heating and light came back on, ”Cruz said.
The remorse marked the first installments of a damage control tour inspired by impromptu vacations on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Cruz quickly moved on to penance, such as barbecuing lifeguards and ripping the wet carpet from a flooded elector’s home.
The newer chapter has a tougher lead.
“I was pretty pissed off,” Cruz said on the conservative Ruthless podcast Tuesday, and added that Heidi Cruz has tried to find out who showed The New York Times she invites you to join them for a four-night stay at the Ritz Carlton for $ 309 a night. Here’s a suggestion: just don’t be an idiot. Like, just, you know, treating us like human beings. Have … a modicum of respect. “
That leak forced him to back out of a hint that he had only intended to stay alone for one night, despite a huge wheeled bag stating otherwise, and that he was just taking Catherine and Caroline to the beach as a ” good father “so they could escape from a frozen house.
In her invitations to friends, Heidi Cruz sent a text message saying that the house was “FREEZING”.
Cruz has said the home lost power Monday night and got it back two days later. So if Snowflake wasn’t without heat, as Cruz says now, the family didn’t have to leave the house to find a warm place to sleep.
The family flew to Mexico late Wednesday afternoon, was immediately discovered at the Houston airport and on board the flight by other surprised sun seekers to see a state official leave while millions of their constituents lacked heat, electricity or drinking water.
Cruz was back in Houston in less than 24 hours, admitting the trip was “obviously a mistake.”
The next day, Friday, New York Post posted photos of Heidi Cruz on the beach in a red two-piece swimsuit.
Snowflake’s photo “was creepy,” Cruz said. “Frankly, even scarier was that the paparazzi went to the beach and took pictures of Heidi in a bikini.”
“She’s angry. … Heidi is hot, so I said, ‘Man, you look great,’ ”Cruz said during the podcast. “But I don’t think there are many women who would love to have reporters following them to take pictures of their bikinis and then paste them on the pages of the New York Post. “
Cruz has endured days of ridicule from late-night comedians and Democratic naysayers.
“I haven’t had as much negative press coverage since Northern California in the 1960s,” he said, referring to a long-standing joke that he is secretly the Zodiac, a serial killer active for decades.
Self-loathing was combined with annoyance from hitherto unidentified friends and neighbors who leaked Heidi’s temptations to join them on a four-night vacation. He noted that his neighbors include members of both parties, and he realizes that not everyone is a fan of him.
“Some people on our street put up Beto signs, which I thought was a little bit, it’s a little rude,” said Cruz, who beat Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 election. “But I didn’t have a victory party. in the front yard when we win. “
O’Rourke himself sprang into action when the crisis struck last week, in contrast to Cruz’s initial instinct that, as a federal legislator, he has little to contribute to disaster mitigation.
The former El Paso congressman raised funds and organized phone banks to connect Texans in need with heating centers and other resources. He chided Cruz for “vacationing in Cancun … when people literally freeze to death in the state he chose to represent and serve.”
Monday night Jimmy Kimmel Live!Cruz’s former basketball rival reproduced footage of him loading a 12-pack of water into a car, commiserating with voters and helping clean a flooded house over the weekend.
“Mr. Fraud also invited the cameras to shoot him helping someone remove the carpet from a house that suffered water damage,” said Kimmel, imagining the reunion when Cruz welcomed Heidi and the girls home: “How was the vacation? Do you have fun? I was in a parking lot pretending to pass out bottles of Dasani. “
The senator’s damage control tour included a second segment with Sean Hannity on Fox News from his brief stint south of the border. On Monday night, as she did last week, Hannity promoted the discredited narrative that Cruz was aiming for quick change all the time and was not ashamed to cut short a family vacation during a crisis.
“You left your daughters in Mexico. You got home in a day, probably less than a day, and here is this scandal, ”Hannity said. “You’re like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because you dumped someone and came home. I still think you can be a father and a senator at the same time. “
Hannity contrasted that with a “cover up” on other networks that falsely said they have ignored allegations that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo downplayed the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes last year.
“Where is the proportionality of the mafia and the media?” Hannity said.
Cruz embraced that turn, agreeing that he has suffered more coverage and shame than he deserves.
“You’re right,” he said. “I think the media is suffering from Trump’s withdrawal. … They don’t know what to do, so they obsess over me taking my girls to the beach. “
Washington Correspondent Tom Benning contributed to this report.