Why Ted Cruz Is So Angry At His Neighbors

Texas Senator Ted Cruz hasn't really known what to do with himself since he got caught sneaking off to Cancun, Mexico for what looked like a last minute break, while his state was in the midst of a deadly, horrific winter storm that left millions without power, heat, or water (via NBC News). After he was caught with his hand in the vacation jar, Cruz admitted the trip was a mistake, but that it took a backlash on social media for him to return. "As it became a bigger and bigger firestorm, it became all the more compelling that I come back."

"I didn't want all the screaming and yelling about this trip to distract even one moment from the real issues Texans care about, which is keeping all of our families safe," Cruz says.

Still, the Texas senator tried to explain that he did, in fact, have his reasons. His story about taking his daughters to Mexico before returning to stateside barely held any water, but it didn't take long before it was further discredited by a series of leaked messages from a group chat to which his wife Heidi belonged to (via The New York Times). 

Heidi Cruz's chats about the trip were widely shared

The contents of the group chat made their way into the pages of The New York Times and onto social media for everyone to see. "Our house is FREEZING," texted Heidi. Several responses later, she says "Anyone can or want to leave for the week? We may go to Cancun there is a direct flight at 445pm and hotels w capacity. Seriously. Covid test to come back which we will take there" (via Twitter). The plan was to leave on Wednesday, and to return on Saturday. There was no mention of the Cruz's white poodle Snowflake, who was pictured alone in the Cruz home; the photo went viral on social media (via New York Magazine).

The act of making a private exchange public appears to have annoyed Heidi to no end, or so Cruz says, because whoever it was had violated the unspoken confidentiality agreement that binds everyone when they join a group chat. And it was a sentiment shared by some who viewed the chats on social media.

Some social media users sided with Cruz in condemning his nosy neighbors

One Twitter user pointed out that while it was "Poor decision by Cruz to leave. BUT this appears to be private text msg threat that has been hacked, which .@Twitter .@TwitterSupport has a policy against (they tell us). If not hacked, then leaked by 'friends'. Friends like that, who needs enemies?" Another person said: "I'm more concerned about a 'friend' who is happy to leak texts to the media but not tell their 'friend' this is a really bad idea, and suggest they make a different choice. Whoever leaked these texts isn't a nice person." Another person saw the leaked texts as a cautionary tale: "Underreported here... TWO of TEN (20%) of the 'friends' on Heidi Cruz's text chain spoke to the New York Times about these messages... Be nice to your friends folks..."

That wasn't the only thing that made Cruz mad. He appears to be nursing a grudge because, as he tells the Ruthless podcast, he lives in a bipartisan neighborhood, and knew people who had put up signs supporting his rival Beto O'Rourke, which he thought "was a little rude." But Cruz claimed to have taken the high road because he didn't celebrate in their front yards after he won. Still, he says "It's a sign of how ridiculously politicized and nasty ... you know, here's a suggestion, just don't be a*******. Treat each other as human beings, have some degree, some modicum of respect," he said (via Vanity Fair).

Cruz tried to clean up his own image

Before he got angry, he tried to get conciliatory. Cruz went online to share photos of himself handing out drinking water to those who no clean water. He also showed folks he served barbecue to first responders before he got called out for flying to Mexico and back without going into quarantine for seven days after his return (via The Washington Post).

But the senator from Texas may have more than just a bad travel decision to think about, because a Political Action Group (PAC) with links to the controversial senator have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to a firm that had bought plenty of copies of Cruz's book. Now questions are being raised about whether he used the November 2020 political campaigns to make money (via Salon). If anything comes out of those investigations, Cruz might get so busy dealing with this that there won't be any trips out of the country at all for the foreseeable future.