As Texas continues to battle an icy storm and widespread power outages that left millions freezing, state Senator Ted Cruz left on Wednesday to fly to Cancun, Mexico for what New York Times reported was a previously planned family vacation.
Photos began to circulate yesterday on social media, showing Cruz and his wife boarding a flight, sparking outrage at his decision to go on vacation while his constituents were without heating and electricity during a once-in-a-generation storm. Though Cruz is reportedly now flying back to Texas amid backlash, his flight to Mexico while some Texans died from carbon monoxide poisoning after using their cars for heat didn't go over well.
On Thursday's episode of The View, Meghan McCain compared Cruz to Marie Antoinette, decrying the "optics" of his trip.
"What's not helping right now is the fact that senator Ted Cruz is seen on a flight with his family to Cancun right now," she said. "I was looking at Twitter in the commercial break. He's apparently on a flight back home to Texas right at this very moment."
"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of media waiting, asking questions, but to, like, literally flee your home state while people are freezing to death, to go to Cancun, is very Marie Antoinette," McCain added. "One of the worst optics I could come up with in an era where there's been a lot of bad political optics."
McCain wasn't the only one to draw the comparison — on Twitter, people began doing the same as photos and reports of Cruz's flight circulated.
On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who had called on Cruz to resign following the insurrection in January, tweeted, "If Sen. Cruz had resigned back in January after helping gin up a violent insurrection that killed several people, he could've taken his vacation in peace. Texans should continue to demand his resignation."
In a statement obtained by NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard, Cruz said his daughters asked to take a vacation with friends, and that "wanting to be a good dad," he flew down with them on Wednesday and would be flying back on Thursday.
Texas is in the midst of an arctic freeze, with an estimated three million people without power. The Houston Chronicle reports that weather conditions "caused a catastrophic failure of the state's power grid," and CBS reports that the death toll is climbing as Texans use generators and stay in their cars to keep warm.
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