Houston police say Ted Cruz’s staff asked for security before he flew to Mexico from the storm-ravaged state

Cruz airport police
Sen. Ted Cruz at Cancun International Airport on February 18. MEGA/GC Images via Getty Images
  • Houston police confirmed on Thursday afternoon that Sen. Ted Cruz’s staff asked for security aid.
  • Police provided security for Cruz’s family as they navigated the airport on Wednesday.
  • Police Chief Art Acevedo said Cruz’s return from Cancun, Mexico, would likely be a “media circus.”
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As first responders dealt with Texas’ statewide power and water crisis, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s office asked Houston police for a security detail at the airport ahead of his family trip to Cancun, Mexico, the department confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

“The Houston Police Department (HPD) can confirm that a member of Senator Cruz’s staff contacted HPD personnel at IAH on Wednesday afternoon, February 17th, and requested assistance upon the Senator’s arrival at the airport,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a statement.

—Houston Police (@houstonpolice) February 18, 2021

“Upon Senator Cruz’s arrival at Terminal E, HPD officers monitored his movements through the terminal,” he added.

Cruz said the quick journey was merely an overnight trip to chaperone his kids, who wanted to go on a vacation with friends.

“People are going to say what they’re going to say. I’m a dad, and I was trying to be a good dad and take care of my kids. I’m also a senator and working hard to fight for the state of Texas each and every day, and I’ll keep doing that,” Cruz said upon his arrival in Houston.

Acevedo did not get into the issue of resources being diverted for Cruz’s security detail, but he did comment further on the matter after the department released its statement.

“While we are not aware of any request from Senator Cruz’s staff for assistance regarding his return, his arrival will more than likely turn into a media circus, so @houstonpolice will be monitoring the situation,” the chief tweeted.

—Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) February 18, 2021

An unnamed source told Skift that Cruz had initially planned to take a United Airlines flight back to Texas on Saturday. His itinerary abruptly changed on Thursday morning, NBC News’ Peter Alexander reported. It remains unclear if the widespread criticism affected Cruz’s return date.

Cruz’s office declined to respond to questions from Insider regarding his initial flight booking, among other subjects, and provided only his statement about the family trip.

John Haltiwanger contributed reporting for this article.