US senator Ted Cruz has been ridiculed for posting a tweet in which he mixed up the American state of Washington with Western Australia while criticising Covid restrictions.
The Republican politician – who tried to win the party’s presidential nomination in 2016 – retweeted a post by the government of Western Australia, whose handle is WA Government – that appeared to advise a woman that dancing would not be permitted at a New Year’s Eve party at her home.
Cruz, who has campaigned against pandemic restrictions, took it as cue to attack the Democrat-led state of Washington, whose widely used abbreviation is also WA, saying that those in leadership were “power-drunk authoritarian kill-joys”. This was despite the fact that the original tweet did not mention Washington.
Cruz tweeted: “Blue-state Dems are power-drunk authoritarian kill-joys. Washington State: NO DANCING ALLOWED!!! Any rational & free citizen: Piss off.”
Cruz deleted the tweet but not before it was picked up by opponents who mocked him gleefully for his error.
Illinois Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger retweeted Cruz’s post and said that the Texas senator should “do your research before posting misinformation”.
US Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell also picked up on the error and tweeted: “Hey Ted, WA is Western Australia. But cool tweet.”
After Cruz had deleted the post, Swalwell returned fire by posting: “Jackpot. @tedcruz deleted his faux outrage tweet. Please stay on this phony”.
Western Australia has imposed strict border controls since the pandemic began and is still closed to almost all Australians in other states.
Its Facebook message to the woman came after she had asked if she was allowed to hold a party for New Year’s Eve.
The reply read “masks are not required at private residences. Dancing is strictly not permitted”.