What Crisis-Communications Experts Would Tell Ted Cruz
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Senator Ted Cruz was never on anyone’s shortlist for the Most Empathetic Politician Award. But his latest performance shocked most political hands.
In Cruise’s home state, Texas, due to an icy storm that caused widespread power failure Claimed dozens of lives Nationwide, Cruise boarded a plane last night and flew to Cancun, Mexico for a family vacation. Pictures started Roam This morning on social media, with a chorus of disappointment and derision.
This afternoon he released a statement stating that his children wanted to take leave and argued that he was still able to work from abroad. He said, “I want to be a good father, I flew with him last night and am returning this afternoon.”
Later, on his way back to the United States, Cruz stated that the trip was “clearly a mistake” and that he had started “second-guessing” as he boarded the plane to Mexico.
I called some crisis-communicating professionals, who have worked with other embattled politicians to get their authority on the cruise fiasco. They all sing some variations on the same subject: just wow.
A Democratic strategist, who worked in Pete Batigiag’s presidential campaign last year, said, “You think you can control damage for anything, and I think he can control damage for it. Huh.” Still, he said: “You’d wonder what he was thinking like that. It can’t make the optics too bad.”
Stu Loesser, longtime press secretary for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who often Took thoughtful trips I was also amazed by Cruz’s decision to fly the coop at one of his state’s weakest moments in memory – while holding Bermuda’s post.
“The hardest part in politics and the hardest part in crisis communication is the same thing: being able to predict the future,” Loesser said. “But in this case, people have been without power for days. You knew what would happen. “
Risa Heller, a crisis consultant who advises being humiliated Former Representative Anthony WeinerSaid that even in a fast-paced news cruise in a 24-hour news cycle, Cruise’s decision to go with his vacation can be difficult to live up to. “It will stay with him for a long time,” she said. “Folks in Texas are not forgetting that a boy they have chosen for their own interests went on vacation at their darkest times.”
He said: “Sometimes someone goes out of town and something goes crazy and they have to come back. You can say, ‘I understand.’ But that’s not the case. This storm happened and then it left. It sends a real message to their constituents. I think time will tell if they will forgive him, but it is very unforgivable. “
Republican strategist Joel Sawyer helped former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford scandal over a secret holiday with Paramore in 2009, which nearly ended his political career. (He eventually finished his term as governor and later withdrew his old seat in the House.) Sawyer said that after Sanford left the governor’s mansion, he worked Restore her reputation By feasting
Sawyer was not so sure that Cruise had the same thing to do. “Yes, he can do damage control, but it requires a lot of humility on his part,” he said. “I’m not sure how much of a part of Ted Cruz Muster might be.”