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Texas Republican criticizes Cruz for Cancun trip: 'When a crisis hits my state, I'm there'

Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulMcCaul says Trump has responsibility to tell potential Capitol attackers to 'stand down' Threats to Capitol prompt House to cancel Thursday votes Blinken speaks with Ethiopian leader about human rights concerns in Tigray MORE (R-Texas) took aim Sunday at Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Cruz puts hold on Biden's CIA nominee It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE’s (R-Texas) decision to leave the state for Cancun, Mexico, amid extreme weather that left millions of Texans without power.

“When a crisis hits my state, I'm there. I'm not going to go on some vacation," McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

"I know Mr. Cruz called it a mistake and he's owned up to that, but I think that was a big mistake and as for me, I was on the ground trying to help my people out and my constituents, and that's what we should be doing in a time of crisis," he told CNN’s Dana BashDana BashKhashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' Senate Democrat: Saudi relationship being 'recalibrated' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE.

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The Texas congressman also praised Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo MORE (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who ran against Cruz in 2018, for their relief efforts in the state. Ocasio-Cortez raised millions of dollars for storm relief, while O’Rourke phone-banked to ensure the state’s seniors had accesses to vital resources during the blackouts.

“I think it's great that they're crossing party lines to help Americans first, and not just Republican or Democrats ... I think that's the way it really should be,” McCaul told Bash.

Cruz, who was photographed in the airport last week, flew back to Houston on Thursday. After initially claiming he had only been escorting his daughters to Mexico, he told reporters leaving the state was “obviously a mistake” and that "I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane.”

McCaul in 2016 floated the idea of a primary challenge to Cruz in 2018, saying “like Reagan said, never say never, but it's not something I'm spending a whole lot of time thinking about right now.” He ultimately did not mount a challenge.