Who is David Panton? Ted Cruz took college roommate to Cancun family vacation as Texans suffered killer freeze
Cruz reportedly invited Panton, a close pal and former roommate of his at both Princeton and Harvard law, to Cancun and Panton flew south of the border to join the family vacation
Texas Senator Ted Cruz made waves over the weekend as he faced backlash for vacationing in Cancun with his family while Texans suffered a killer freeze. Now, it has emerged that he also brought along his college roommate for the trip.
Cruz reportedly invited David Panton, his best pal and former roommate of his at both Princeton and Harvard law, to the destination. Panton, a VP at Mellon Ventures, accepted Cruz's invitation and flew south of the border to join the latter's pre-planned family vacation, Axios reported.
An aide for Cruz told the outlet he invited Panton after having planned the vacation last Tuesday. However, as Cruz faced a public backlash and schlepped back home, Panton stayed back at the Ritz Carlton in sunny Cancun until Saturday. Cruz and his family members received considerable pushback as millions of Texans suffered without power or heat amid the ongoing winter storm. According to The Sun, parents at the school attended by Cruz's children were furious and demanded they quarantine before returning to school. The Texas senator also faced backlash after he started giving out water shortly after returning to the state, sharing a photo of himself holding cases of Dasani and using the hashtag #TexasStrong. Cruz admitted that the trip was "obviously a mistake," but ended up blaming his daughters for it, saying he was only "wanting to be a good dad." However, it did not go down well with the tens of thousands of Texans who reeled under rolling power blackouts.
In a statement, Cruz revealed that he had decided to accompany his daughters Caroline and Catherine Cruz, and his wife Heidi Cruz in their pre-planned post-pandemic trip to the Mexican city.
However, leaked text messages sent by his wife to the family's neighbors before the trip showed her asking if they wanted to join the Cruz family at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Cancun for a week, reported the New York Times. In fact, she specifically mentioned that their house was "freezing" in her texts, suggesting Cancun as a getaway till Sunday, hopefully by when the situation would improve.
The texts leaked to NYT by an anonymous source also revealed that Heidi Cruz noted the room price ($309 per night) and "good security" at the hotel, where the family had reportedly stayed "many times". As Texans battled the lack of electricity, freezing sub-zero temperatures, and no running water, Sen. Cruz was spotted at the airport departure with his family on Wednesday, February 17. His office refused to divulge details about his whereabouts even after 12 hours following the emergence of the airport photos.
#SoIWentToCancun was trending late on Sunday, February 21, after a controversial statement given to CBS' Face The Nation by Cruz's office regarding his trip. "Before the storms hit, Senator Cruz spoke with a meteorologist about the seriousness of the projected storms. Senator Cruz connected the meteorologist to Governor Abbott, and warned Texans early on to take the storm seriously," the statement read.
Memes and GIFs poking fun at the Texas Senator inundated social media after the statement went viral online.