Like Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, and the writers of Saturday Night Live, John Oliver was more than happy to add his punchlines to the pile of Ted Cruz material after the Republican senator abandoned his constituents last week amid a once-in-a-generation winter storm. Oliver devoted his opening monologue on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” to the devastating climate event that left a large chunk of the country last week without power, water, supplies, and heat.
Oliver debunked the claim made by many conservative figures, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, that renewable energy sources were responsible for the failure of Texas’ power grid, citing an Associated Press report that wind power only accounts for 25 percent of the state’s electricity, and natural gas, coal, and nuclear power were responsible for almost twice as many outages. Oliver also pinned the blame on Texas’ fully privatized energy industry, where deregulation left the state’s energy infrastructure vulnerable to winter weather.
But the face of Texas’ failure to protect its people, Oliver noted, was “Ted F—ing Cruz,” who went on vacation to Mexico while millions of his constituents were in dire need of help. He returned after pictures of him on the plane sparked public outcry, and he blamed his daughters for making him take the trip. “The first rule of fatherhood is ‘throw your daughters under the bus at the first opportunity,’” Oliver joked.
Oliver also pointed out that details about the Cruzs’ trip came out after someone leaked texts from the senator’s wife, Heidi Cruz, to the New York Times that showed her trying to plan the trip.
“I mean, that’s just incredible,” Oliver said. “Ted Cruz — who, remember, wants to be president — told the world he was bullied into international travel by twins, then got cyber-bullied into coming home by the internet, leaving his wife to solo parent two kids on vacation in another country while trying to figure out who in her mom group doxxed her. It’s all amazing.”
Oliver concluded his monologue by saying that the people of Texas deserve better than what they’ve been getting from their leaders, and encouraged viewers to donate to Feeding Texas.