While many of the right-wing Republican attendees at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference held this year in Orlando are waiting with bated breath for former President Donald Trump’s key note address on February 28—the first one the twice-impeached commander-in-chief will give since leaving office in January 2021—other speakers might be giving Trump (and CPAC media coverage overall) a run for his money. The latest Republican lawmaker and headline-making contender now appears to be Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who caused a frenzy among denizens of the Internet after making a series of one-liners related to the most recent controversy the noted Trump loyalist has embroiled himself in.
As The New York Post and others reported on Feb. 25, 2021, the jokes Cruz made during his CPAC speech attempted to address his recent trip to Cancún, one which took place during one of the worst natural state-wide disasters Texas has endured in recent memory. So what exactly did Cruz find so funny? Read on after the jump to find out.
Ted Cruz went to Cancun while his constituents went without water and power
As outlets like The New York Times noted at the time, Ted Cruz’s Feb. 18, 2021 trip to the popular coastal getaway in Mexico, where the senator holidayed with his wife and children for two days, took place during what was already a critical pile-on for the senator against Cruz over his inaction in helping facilitate aid to state residents. The majority of those affected, per The Texas Tribune, totaled at roughly 15 millions of Texans after an unprecedented statewide winter storm made landfall in the middle of February 2021. Residents went more than a week without proper or functional access to heat, electricity, or water—with many of them bereft of all three—and “dozens” were reported dead, per The Tribune.
Adding further to the backlash against Cruz was his response to the self-same outrage directed against him after returning to the U.S. from his trip, as well as his perceived lack of accountability for his decision to do so in the first place—even going as far as to blame his daughters, aged 10 and 12, for purportedly forcing his hand over the trip—while his constituents remained marooned in their homes while battling freezing temperatures, black ice, and heavy snowfall for the area.
Ted Cruz called coverage of his Cancun trip 'absurd'
Staying on brand in his response to “Cancún-gate,” Ted Cruz seemingly tackled the matter at CPAC through comedy—or at least, an attempt at it. As The New York Post reported, the Texas legislator opened with a one-liner in which he compared the weather of the location of the conference, Orlando, to that of the popular Mexican vacation destination he had returned from only days before.
“God bless CPAC,” Cruz said to the audience members, according to The New York Post. “I’ve gotta say, Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancún, but it’s nice.” Cruz then followed it with a popular quote from the movie Braveheart, per The Post, braying the world “FREEDOM!” at the onlooking attendees. He also quipped about his decision to leave his dog Snowflake at home during the two-day beach-side jaunt, despite the fact that Snowflake, who was first reported as unattended for 48 hours, was left at the residence without power and a source of heat, according to The Post. “Apparently, I fed Snowflake to the wolves,” Cruz continued, while alleging that the pet was attended to by a sitter, though he did not get into the specifics of the arrangement. “The heat was kind of back on,” Cruz also said, then called the coverage of his trip and the safety of his dog “absurd.”
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