It was a story tailor-made for Jimmy Kimmel, who has never been shy about his outright hatred of Ted Cruz. And on Thursday night, he spent nearly his entire monologue going in on the Texas senator for fleeing his freezing, devastated home state for what ended up being a short-lived getaway in Cancun.
“On behalf of all of us we want to send our best wishes from L.A. to those of you who have been hammered by the cold weather,” the late-night host began, sincerely. “Hundreds of thousands of Texans are still without power. And on a day when the most newsworthy landing should have been the NASA Rover successfully touching down on Mars, instead, it was a senator from Texas touching down on Cancun.”
“While his fellow Texans are freezing with the power out Ted Cruz did what any great leader would do when his state needs leadership most,” Kimmel continued. “He booked a flight to Mexico and said, ‘Adios, amigos!’”
From there, he ran down just how bad the situation is on the ground in Texas, where roads are impassable, toilets are frozen over, and people are burning their furniture to stay warm. “And where was Mr. Texas while his constituents are suffering?” Kimmel asked. “Well, there he is, snake on a plane right there! Headed, ironically, to the very place he tried to build a wall around.”
At first, Kimmel explained, he wasn’t sure if the photos popping up on social media were actually of the Texas senator “or just a man with a terrible medical condition called ‘looking Like Ted Cruz.’”
“But, I didn’t want to post until I knew for sure it was him,” he said. So my wife spent two full hours studying images last night, matching up photos of his shoes, his mask, his wedding ring. It was like I was in bed with Sherlock Holmes.”
Eventually, reporters started to confirm that it was him on the flight. “So, he loads his family onto a plane to get the hell out of town and, unfortunately he’s been on TV kissing Trump’s ass so much and for so long, that everyone recognizes him even with a mask on,” Kimmel said. “They post all these pictures of him and there’s so much backlash, he has no choice but to immediately book a flight home.”
“The hypocrisy is off the charts!” he added. “This is the guy who two months ago lashed out at the mayor of Austin for going to Mexico.” But that wasn’t all. Kimmel also called Cruz out for mocking Governor Gavin Newsom for being “unable to perform even the basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity” and attacked Chris Christie for going to the New Jersey beach he ordered closed.
“But why settle for just being the planet’s biggest hypocrite when you can be a world-class liar too?” the host asked, before meticulously breaking down the initial statement in which Cruz blamed his two young daughters for the entire debacle.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” Cruz said. “Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”
“Now, he was careful not to say he was planning to fly back this afternoon because he wasn’t,” Kimmel explained. “He just said he did, and in fact, NBC News has a source that says he was originally booked to fly back Saturday. He booked his return ticket at 6 a.m. this morning after he got busted. But I guess we were supposed to believe he was chaperoning his wife and kids to Mexico and was planning to come back the next day all along… with a carry-on bag stuffed like a piñata.”
The host also took a moment to mock the people who excused Cruz’s lies, like “one idiot” named “Dinesh De-Douche-a,” who tweeted, “What could @tedcruz do if he were here in Texas? I’m hard-pressed to say. If he’s in Cancun, that means he’s not using up valuable resources of energy, food and water that can now be used by someone else. This is probably the best thing he could do for the state right now.”
“And more than 10,000 people ‘liked’ that statement!” Kimmel exclaimed. “What a country this is.”
But since “for the most part though no one was buying this story about getting back to work,” he said, “Ted decided to kind of come clean,” admitting that the trip was a “mistake” and that he cut it short due to the backlash. “He also claimed that his struggle to be the world’s greatest dad put him in a position that he realized wasn’t a good one just a couple hours too late.”
Speaking to reporters outside his house upon his return, Cruz said he “started having second thoughts almost the moment” he sat down on the plane.
“Yes, as soon as people started posting pictures of him on the plane he looked up and knew he shouldn’t be on the plane,” Kimmel replied. “How did he think he was going to get away with this? You know your judgment is terrible when this haircut is only the third worst decision you made this month.”
“Well, at least his vacation was ruined,” Kimmel concluded before urging viewers to text “ABC 13” to 41444 to donate money for Texas relief.
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