White House press secretary Jen Psaki had this exchange at her Thursday briefing:

Q: Just wondering if the president has any reaction to these reports that say Senator Ted Cruz flew to Cancun amid this giant winter storm in his home state of Texas?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I don’t have any updates on the exact location of Senator Ted Cruz, nor does anyone at the White House. But our focus is on working directly with leadership in Texas and the surrounding states on addressing the winter storm and the crisis at hand — the many people across the state who are without power, without the resources they need. And we expect that would be the focus of anyone in the state or surrounding states who was elected to represent them. But I don’t have any update on his whereabouts.

Due to the winter weather in D.C., the briefing was by phone, so we could not see if Psaki allowed herself a grin after twisting the knife. Cruz had abandoned his state, hurriedly booked a return flight from Mexico (after falsely suggesting he always planned to come back early) and blamed his kids for the trip — the sort of political ineptitude one would expect of a small-town mayor, not one of the most nakedly ambitious Republicans in the Senate (where there is stiff competition for that honor).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made sure to stress how much Democrats, who have not had control of the Texas government in decades, are doing to bail out the failed state. “FEMA will take a measure of what the needs are. We want to be sure to have the funds there,” she said. She stressed the need in Texas for nutrition benefits, aid for vaccination and "assistance from FEMA to replenish Texas water supply and help Texas obtain safe and drinkable water.” There was so much to do — yet Cruz was away in the sunshine.

The day then got worse for the junior senator when someone leaked texts sent by his wife about the trip. The New York Times reports: “Text messages sent from Ms. Cruz to friends and Houston neighbors on Wednesday revealed a hastily planned trip. Their house was ‘FREEZING,’ as Ms. Cruz put it — and she proposed a getaway until Sunday.” So not a request from the kids as Ted Cruz intimated or a long-planned family trip. The Times added: “Ms. Cruz invited others to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún, where they had stayed ‘many times,’ noting the room price this week ($309 per night) and its good security.” Needless to say, Ted Cruz now knows that one or more of the parents in the text chain really have it in for him.

The total disregard for voters, the willingness to lie, the elite mentality (as Cruz feigns to be a man of the people) and his unwillingness to take responsibility for an appalling lack of judgment were all peak Ted Cruz. It is not for nothing that Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) once wisecracked, "If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.” The former disgraced president dubbed him “Lyin’ Ted,” as apt a description of him as any. And this is what Republicans say about him.

Cruz has made a career of self-promotion and grandstanding, including his antics during the 2013 government shutdown; his transformation into a full-time apologist for Donald Trump, even though during the 2016 primaries Trump had insulted Cruz’s wife and suggested Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination; his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection; and his stream of nasty tweets about Democrats and other states. It is rare to find a politician as disliked by his own side as he is by the opposing one. In that, we can thank Cruz for doing his part in helping the country attain unity.

Texas lawmakers on Feb. 18 reacted to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) trip to Cancun while Texas residents faced widespread power outages. (JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

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