Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) has come under fire after saying that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) “should not have apologized” for flying to Cancún while millions of people went without food and water as a result of the Texas power disaster.
Ted Cruz should not have apologized.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 19, 2021
Gaetz was almost immediately criticized for coming to Cruz’s defense at a time when the state of Texas is facing a significant humanitarian disaster that has claimed the lives of at least 47 people as severe winter weather continues to batter the state.
“You are nauseating,” said one person, while another accused him of “elitist” behavior. Yet another person implied Gaetz would likely flee his own state in the event of a similar disaster.
You are nauseating. I thought you guys wanted to build a wall? Now it’s just cool to flee inhospitable living conditions? Oh, ok.
— Mela Shea (@MelaShea) February 19, 2021
@mattgaetz thinks he's part of an Elitist Society instead of the Public Servant he is. You and @SenTedCruz have a lot to learn about being public servants. You DON'T OWN US! We are YOUR BOSSES! https://t.co/mkzVtoeumT
— JustInCase You didn't know (@justincase_t) February 19, 2021
Well I guess we know where this one will be if Florida ever has a major crisis. https://t.co/jbQOv9KpvG
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 LiBeratOr (@HappyBitchFace) February 19, 2021
“Matt Gaetz hates Texans,” said Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko.
Matt Gaetz hates Texans. https://t.co/WRGHP2uSlb
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) February 19, 2021
Journalist Kim Masters and columnist David Weissmann also weighed in.
Someone is a little jealous of Cruz’s surge in the biggest-jerk-in-Congress derby. https://t.co/wjx5R9nhiq
— Kim Masters (@kimmasters) February 19, 2021
Ted Cruz should have resigned instead. https://t.co/k6DNrf3akU
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) February 19, 2021
Cruz claimed he went to Cancún to accompany his daughters, an apology that did not sit well with his critics either.
“Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power too,” Cruz said in a statement. “With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying 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.”
Cruz’s social media accounts had not acknowledged any official travel.
Texas lawmakers have called for an inquiry into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages electric power for more than 26 million customers.
The agency “is restoring load as fast as we can in a stable manner,” the council said in a statement on Tuesday. “Generating units across fuel types continue to struggle with frigid temperatures.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.