If Ted Cruz were to call me and ask for crisis management advice, I’d first call my doctor to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. But seriously, since there is no chance the senator would ever ask me to represent him (and no chance I would ever agree to do so), I can answer on this space without any hesitancy: I would advise Senator Cruz to offer to resign from the US Senate.
Sen. Ted Cruz likes his “Come and Take” mask so much that he wore it to the inauguration and on the plane to Cancun.
He must mean his job… pic.twitter.com/0ADujo6s9Z
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 18, 2021
For those of you who have not followed the events of the last 24-hours, on Wednesday night rumors emerged that the Republican senator from Texas flew down to Cancun, Mexico for a family vacation as millions of his constituents were without power following an unprecedented snowstorm. This report seemed far too confounding to possibly be true, but reporters and Internet vigilantes embarked on a virtual manhunt to confirm the speculation. By Thursday morning, we had confirmed the worst. Multiple photos on Twitter found the senator in the Houston airport waiting for his flight and sporting the same “Come And Take It” facemask he wore during the Biden inauguration.
Despite the fact that the Twittersphere had confirmed Cruz’s departure, his press office remained silent – neither confirming nor denying that the trip indeed took place. All the while, the Internet went ablaze, and critics rightly called for his resignation.
Then, early Thursday afternoon, the Senator’s office released the following statement:
“With school canceled 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.”
Although Cruz insisted that he and his staff were “in constant communication” with the calamity unfolding in Texas, it was far too late to save face. For one thing, it was reported that he made his reservation to return to the United States at 6:00 am – after the story broke. Instead of admitting that himself, he attempted to appear as if he was always planning to return after dropping his kids off. Not even a good try, Senator.
What he has done by going to Cancun in the middle of this humanitarian is literally indefensible. Morally. Politically. In any possible way of looking at it. Indefensible.
The explanation that he was trying to be a “good dad” is so ridiculous and lacking in credibility that I suggest he starts by apologizing for insulting everyone’s intelligence in addition to his already revolting behavior.
Regardless, I doubt he will follow my advice to resign. Senator Cruz appears to have neither conscience nor sensitivity to human suffering among his own constituents.
Knowing that he lacks the moral compass to resign, I would at least advise him to, in the words of the subtitle of my White House memoir on crisis management, “Tell it early…tell it all…tell it yourself.” Meaning, in Cruz’s case, he should do the following:
Firstly, he should step up and tell the truth. He simply thought of himself and his family before the pain of his constituents. He messed up, period, and needs to apologize accordingly. No explanations or excuses, like shifting the blame to his children by trying to be a good dad. Not only does it take us all for suckers, but also shows a level of narcissism and insensitivity that rivals the former president (who he once denounced as a pathological liar).
"It was obviously a mistake. In hindsight, I wouldn't have done it. I was trying to be a Dad," Sen. Ted Cruz says after receiving criticism for flying to Mexico with his family during a major winter storm in Texas. pic.twitter.com/y8x22DxTgA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 19, 2021
It appears that the senator has taken steps to own up to his behavior. After returning stateside Thursday afternoon, Cruz said the trip was “obviously a mistake” to reporters. “In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he added.
But it is not enough. Secondly, he must explain how he could possibly be so self-preoccupied to ignore the suffering of his constituents or their perception of his trip to Cancun. Perhaps he can say that he is seeking personal counseling to help him understand how he could be so insensitive and tone-deaf to others.
Third, he must align himself with the right side. In other words, he needs to step up and repudiate Governor Greg Abbott for being just as – if not more – insensitive and stupid as him. No, Abbott didn’t jet off to Cancun, but rather than taking control of the situation, he tried to shift blame to the favorite punching bags of the right: AOC, The Squad, and the Green New Deal. On Thursday, Abbott said to Sean Hannity the following:
Texas Gov. Abbott blames solar and wind for the blackouts in his state and says "this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America" pic.twitter.com/YfVwa3YRZQ
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 17, 2021
“This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America…. Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis… It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.”
Not only are statements like this more insensitive than Cruz’s conduct and attempted rationale, but they are also dumber.
Would Cruz be able to salvage the situation if he were to follow these steps? It shouldn’t. Nevertheless, since so many people have such short memories, he should try doing the right thing and forget about what helps him politically in the long-term.