MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” brought on a GOP communications strategist Friday to discuss Sen. Ted Cruz’s border-hopping, mid-emergency jaunt to Cancun, Mexico. His assessment? “A dumbass move.”
Here are Rick Tyler’s thoughts in full: “Look, I’m just a dumb country comms guy and in the very sophisticated world of political communication, this is what you call a dumbass move. There’s no excuse for it.”
Tyler lamented not only the lack of leadership displayed by Cruz in jetting to a Cancun resort as millions of his constituents went without heat or electricity and numerous died, but the Texas Republican’s lack of leadership shown through the pandemic and baselessly contested election, too.
Host Joe Scarborough recalled his own time in Congress, saying that if he’d ever dreamed of going on vacation when his state of Florida was facing a hurricane, he expected his staffers would have knocked him out rather than let him go.
Cruz returned to Houston on Thursday from Mexico one day after photos of him in the airport went viral Wednesday night. He said in a statement and an appearance on Fox News that he had just gone down to make sure his kids were safe on a trip they were taking.
Between the statement and the interview, texts were leaked from his wife’s neighborhood group chat in which she wrote that the trip was their idea and they planned to stay in Mexico through the weekend because their house was “freezing.”
By Thursday night, Cruz took a new tack and admitted that the trip “was obviously a mistake.” Speaking to reporters outside his home, he now said he had misgivings even as he fled the state. “From the moment I sat on the plane, I began really second-guessing that decision and saying, ‘Look, I know why we’re doing this, but I’ve also got responsibilities,'” he said. “Leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn’t feel right, and so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight I could take.”