Like many of his Republican colleagues, right-wing Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has repeatedly decried public efforts to contain the pandemic that's killed over 800 thousand Americans. He's mocked mask-wearing, decried temporary shutdowns, and railed against vaccine passports.
And on Wednesday, Cruz once again skewered virus containment efforts in a now-deleted tweet, but he made a glaring mistake.
Cruz retweeted far-right conspiracy theorist and InfoWars contributor Paul Joseph Watson, whose tweet included a Facebook screenshot that showed the verified "WA Government" account telling a commenter that
"Masks are not required at private residences. Dancing is strictly not permitted."
Cruz pounced on Democrats, whom he described as "power-drunk authoritarian killjoys" and claimed Washington State was imposing a Footloose-esque ban on dancing:
"Washington State: NO DANCING ALLOWED!!!
Any rational & free citizen: Piss off."
There's just one problem.
As the WA Government's profile picture indicates, "WA" stands for "Western Australia." It isn't the abbreviation for Washington State.
Cruz's colleagues—Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of Virginia—were merciless in pointing this out.
Since @tedcruz deleted this, I’ll post as a reminder to all of us to DO YOUR RESEARCH before posting misinformation. WA means “Western Australia” not Washington state. pic.twitter.com/jnZ2On7p9k
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) December 30, 2021
Hey Ted, WA is Western Australia. But cool tweet. https://t.co/fRgYuCEIQb
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 30, 2021
Social media users soon began mocking the Senator.
Lol @TedCruz’s version of “my body, my choice” is “I own myself, therefore I constantly self-own” https://t.co/bSCmurmKUi
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) December 30, 2021
Agreed!! For example, if I were to tweet “TED CRUZ IS A LOSER” — it’s because I’ve done my research https://t.co/eT2FlPBqOC
— ᎠᏌNᎬᎷYᎢᎻᎪNᏩ™️ is a SERF in a CORRUPT FEUDAL SYSTEM (@Kris_Sacrebleu) December 30, 2021
It was so important to post hateful, ignorant trash talk to make sure America is divided & ready to start civil war - @tedcruz posted this without reading it or caring what it was about because it was enough for his identity politics & his hateful base to assume it was democrats. https://t.co/29ihjg4aJG
— Mandy Thornton (@thornton_mandy) December 30, 2021
Intelligence and knowledge has never been his strong suit... https://t.co/U0phJYGQYI
— johnwhit (@JSWJFW) December 30, 2021
The lies and misinformation campaigns being spread by right wing radicals will haunt this country for decades. https://t.co/OwTPxUbNVH
— Chris (@chrisrob22) December 30, 2021
If you’re ever elected US senator, try acting like a serious, informed adult, not a social media troll. https://t.co/9Lf53YGMEP
— jodyseaborn (@jodyseaborn) December 30, 2021
Oh Ted, you thought you had a slam dunk with this one but you dunked on yourself. https://t.co/O2hSFrnRRv
— Daren R. Williams (He/Him) (@REAL_BEEFMAN) December 30, 2021
This isn't the first time Cruz has found himself at odds with Australia. Earlier this year, he called the country "the Texas of the Pacific" in a tweet praising Australians but slamming the country's COVID-19 policies. The tweet earned him a terse response from the Chief Minister of the Australia's Northern Territory.