Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) tried to pretend that he considered his ill-considered trip to Cancun a “mistake” when he was cornered by the media after his hasty return trip to Texas, but in his media appearances yesterday — both on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News last night and on former NRA-mouthpiece Dana Loesch’s right-wing talk radio podcast — he seemed to lay the blame for that mistake not on his own judgment of the appropriate behavior of a Senator during a major disaster in his home state, but on a media starved of Donald Trump’s daily tweets as a source of their attention and response.
Cruz, facing a friendly interrogator, glossed over any personal responsibility for his lapse in hiding the elitist exercise of his considerable privilege and wealth and instead attributed the public furor over his behavior to a news cycle experiencing “Trump withdrawal.”
“I will say, to venture into practicing medicine, that I actually want to diagnose the media. The media is suffering from acute Trump withdrawal, where for four years every day, they could foam at the mouth and be obsessed with Donald Trump, and now that he has receded from their day-to-day storyline, they don’t know what to do with themselves,” Cruz said while speaking with Loesch on her show yesterday.
“Donald Trump broke the media, and so they don’t want to do that,” he continued. “They just want to engage in political attacks.”
His comments on Hannity’s program were similarly dismissive of the idea that Cruz had done anything wrong by abandoning his beleaguered state — experiencing massive power outages, a lack of heat in freezing temperatures, and a shortage of potable water during an extraordinarily severe winter storm — to go on a tropical Mexican vacation that he subsequently falsely blamed on his own daughters and lied about the planned duration of the trip.
“It was obviously a mistake. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” Cruz tried to apologize on Thursday. “I was trying to be a dad. And all of us have made decisions — when you got two girls who have been cold for two days and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Hey look, we don’t have school, why don’t we go. Let’s get out of here.’ “
On Hannity, Cruz was well past the apology state and shifted into blame-casting as he took umbrage with the media’s interest in his cowardly and irresponsible behavior as Democrats like Beto O’Rourke and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lept into the breach to raise money and distribute needed relief supplies to Cruz’s suffering constituents while Cruz was jetting off to his luxury resort in Mexico.
“I think the media is suffering from Trump withdrawal, where they’ve attacked Trump every day for four years,” Cruz told Hannity. “They don’t know what to do, so they obsessed over my taking my girls to the beach.”
Perhaps the media’s obsession with Cruz’s behavior comes from the inherent hypocrisy contained in that behavior’s contrast with the values expected by Texans from their elected representatives.
Cruz’s attacks on the media come not because of any unhealthy politically-motivated obsession that the media has with him personally, but because he was caught when he wasn’t expecting to be caught.
Coming on top of his role in spreading Donald Trump’s “big lie” that the election was somehow fraudulently stolen from him and that role’s responsibility in helping instigate the insurrection at Cruz’s own workplace, the Capitol, Cruz’s dereliction of his duties as a state-wide elected official was a political disaster for him.
That Senator Cruz is more concerned with the political fallout from his injurious media coverage than the fate of the many suffering Texans tells you all that you need to know about his character, infused as it is with selfishness and contempt for the everyday people he represents.
At this point, Ted Cruz has proven that he is not worthy of the position to which he has been elected by the people of Texas.
He should resign and allow someone more attuned to the interests of the citizenship of the state to take the job that he has so clearly failed to perform properly.
Original reporting by Dominick Mastrangelo at The Hill.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.