The Real Reason Why Ted Cruz Just Slammed His Neighbors

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is shifting attention away from his Cancún vacation scandal by criticizing his neighbors. The politician and his family were spotted boarding a plane to Cancún, Mexico on Feb. 18, 2021. Photos of the luggage-towing senator and his family at the airport spread like wildfire on social media, with many users shaming Cruz for abandoning his state in the midst of a deadly winter storm that left millions of his constituents without food, water, electricity, or shelter, per The Guardian. Cruz quickly issued various statements attempting to justify his actions, including blaming his daughters for the trip.

No matter what Cruz said, the optics surrounding the situation continued to crumble. The family's public image took another big hit when text messages sent by his wife, Heidi Cruz, to friends and neighbors were exposed to the public. The day before they beat feet out of Texas, Heidi reportedly texted that their house was "FREEZING" and invited some friends to join them on a family vacation Mexico, The New York Times reported. The text messages were reportedly released by Cruz's neighbors — and he has some strong words for those who spoke to the press.

Ted Cruz blames his neighbors for sharing his vacation plans

Sen. Ted Cruz rushed home from Mexico as criticism erupted over his trip to Cancun, touching down in the Lone Star state on Feb. 19, 2021. Was he sorry about ditching his constituents?  Actually, it seems he felt like he was the one who deserved an apology.

Cruz took aim at his neighbors on an episode of the Ruthless podcast, saying this his wife, Heidi, was "pretty pissed" over leaked texts about their vacation plans. The Republican also insinuated that his left-leaning neighbors might have been ones who leaked her messages to the media. "Now look, our neighbors, we've got a number of Republicans who are neighbors, but we also have a number of Democrats," he said, noting that his neighbors' actions were "a sign of how ridiculously politicized and nasty" the political climate is. 

He even offered up some profanity-laden advice to those who were critical of his cushy exit during a deadly crisis. "Here's a suggestion: just don't be ***holes," he said. "Just treat each other as human beings. Have some degree, some modicum of respect." 

Does Ted Cruz regret his Mexican getaway?

As Texans rebuild after the collapse of the state's power grid, Sen. Ted Cruz seems to have taken some accountability for his actions while also blaming the media for the backlash. Though he admitted to reporters that the trip was "obviously a mistake," saying he had "second thoughts" immediately as he boarded the plane, per The New York Times, he also sought to shift the blame away from himself during a Feb. 18, 2021 interview with Sean Hannity. "I think the media is suffering from Trump withdrawal, where they've attacked Trump every day for four years," Cruz told Hannity, as per The Independent. "They don't know what to do, so they obsessed over my taking my girls to the beach." 

This opinion came as Cruz and Hannity both pointed the finger at media bias, alleging that major news outlets had chosen to zero in on the Cancún scandal rather than New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent fall from grace, according to The Independent. (Cuomo has also faced criticism for allegedly covering up the full scope of coronavirus deaths in New York City nursing homes, per The New York Times.)

Ted Cruz has attempted to mend his image in the wake of the scandal

Following his return from Mexico, Ted Cruz continues to face heavy blowback from both Republicans and Democrats, who — for once — appear firmly united in their disapproval of the senator's actions. "I think that was a big mistake and as for me, I was on the ground trying to help my people out ... and that's what we should be doing in a time of crisis," Republican congressman Michael McCaul told CNN. "This is about as callous as any politician can get," Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa weighed in (per The New York Times). Adding that he was "shocked but not surprised" by Cruz's decision to jet off amid the devastating winter storm, Hinojosa branded Cruz "a politician that really has never cared much about anybody but himself."

Amid the barrage of criticism, Cruz has been hard at work combatting the bad PR and mending his reputation. On Feb. 20, 2021 the disgraced senator posted a series of pictures that showed him slicing brisket, distributing water bottles and posing with local law enforcement. "Served some delicious #Houston bbq to @FirefightersHOU, @IAFFNewsDesk & local law enforcement yesterday with @TheNew93Q to thank our first responders following these unprecedented snow storms," Cruz tweeted, sharing additional photos which he captioned simply with the #TexasStrong hashtag. Safe to say he may need to slice a whole lot of brisket in the future to make up for this gaffe.