Ted Cruz under fire for 'photo ops' in Houston following controversial Mexico trip
Just days after being criticized for making a controversial trip to Mexico when millions of Texans suffered from freezing temperatures from water and power outages, Texas Senator Ted Cruz came under fire for posting photos of himself who were also helping with relief efforts. His most prominent opponents came to the state to offer help.
Cruz visited some locations in the Houston area Saturday and Sunday, delivering bottled water to residents and providing food to first responders. The social media posts that featured the Senator in a mask with the flag of Texas on it were replied to with thousands of replies and tweets slamming Cruz for what many referred to as "photo op", to counter the bad press he got for his trip.
"My constituents made me cancel my vacation in Cancun and I just felt ashamed of carrying their water," tweeted actress Patricia Arquette in a reply to Cruz.
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هل لديك الجرأة على مقارنة مزايا فول الصويا الأمريك
يؤكد استعراض شامل حديث نشره طرف خارجي أن فول الصويا الأمريكي يتفوق على غيره الأنوحاع الأخرى من بيث.
MORE: Ted Cruz is back in Texas after facing backlash for flying to Cancun in brutal weather
Cruz took his family on a trip to Cancun on Wednesday while many parts of the state still ran out of electricity, water, and other supplies. It was photographed and videotaped by passengers at the airport and on the plane, and those images sparked a flurry of criticism and shock.
PHOTO: Senator Ted Cruz in a photo posted to his Twitter account on February 20, 2021. (Senator Ted Cruz / Twitter)
Cruz was scheduled to return on Saturday but flew back to Texas on Thursday following the backlash. The Senator's office issued a statement claiming the trip was for his two daughters, Caroline and Catherine, and their friends. He later told reporters that he had thought about it and later said, "I would not have done it."
Abhi Rahman, a Texas Democrats spokesman, said in a statement to ABC News that Cruz's actions this weekend would not detract from the senator's misguided vacation.
"Ted Cruz showed the world who he is when he left Texas during our greatest need. Not a bit of pandering will change that," he said in a statement.
Cruz officials didn't immediately post messages back to ABC News this weekend to comment on its activities. He was back in Washington DC for Senate hearings on Monday.
Critics were key to highlighting that Cruz's social media posts and charity drives were happening at the same time that U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, one of Cruz's most staunch critics, flew to Texas to join Relief efforts to help.
The New York Congresswoman has partnered with Texas Congressmen Sylvia Garcia, Penny Morales Shaw and Shelia Jackson Lee to help the Houston Food Bank and raised over $ 5 million to help families hit by the storm.
PHOTO: Texas Congresswoman Penny Morales Shaw, Congressmen Sheila Jackson Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sylvia Garcia help distribute food at the Houston Food Bank on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Elizabeth Conley / AFP via Getty Images)
The Democratic Women in Congress also helped distribute food and water and spoke to families hit by the storm.
"Charity cannot replace politics, but solidarity is the way we address climate change and build a better world," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
In a statement to ABC News between Feb.17 and Feb.21, the Houston Food Bank said it had distributed 1,000 emergency pallets containing shelf-stable food, water and products. The nonprofit recognized the congress women for their efforts and reach.
MORE: How You Can Help Texas Families Who Stay In The Dark
"Your efforts to raise awareness of the need here in southeast Texas have been of great help," the Houston Food Bank said in a statement.
Rahman said the Texas Democrats are also grateful for Ocasio-Cortez's support.
"Texas will not forget who was there for us during our greatest time of need, and we will hold those who weren't accountable," he said in a statement.
Ted Cruz under fire for Photo Ops in Houston after a controversial trip to Mexico originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
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