Lauren Boebert joked that she would challenge her wheelchair-using House colleague Madison Cawthorn “to a sprint”, with the winner awarded the prize of hiring Kyle Rittenhouse as an intern.
The two gun-toting Republicans lawmakers have been falling over themselves to heap praise on Mr Rittenhouse, who was acquitted of murdering two people and wounding a third in a trial that divided America down political lines.
Speaking to far-right Newsmax host Seb Gorka on Tuesday night, Ms Boebert said: “Now, I do have some colleagues on the Hill who have, just like me, offered Kyle Rittenhouse an internship in their office and Madison Cawthorn, he said that he would arm wrestle me for this Kyle Rittenhouse internship.
“But Madison Cawthorn has some pretty big guns, and so I would like to challenge him to a sprint instead. Let’s make this fair.”
Mr Rittenhouse, 18, has been lionised by right-wing media after his acquittal on all five charges, appearing on Tucker Carlson on Monday night and meeting former President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Ms Boebert’s comments drew bewilderment on Twitter, with some wondering if the gaffe-prone Congresswoman understood that her Republican colleague was unable to walk, let alone run.
CNN contributor and author SE Cupp said it was “the worst of times … full stop”.
“This cult is full of extremely unserious people,” wrote another.
George Takei, the former Star Wars actor and author, wondered: “Is that her idea of humor?”
“It’s conceivable Boebert doesn’t understand why Cawthorn is always sitting in a chair with wheels,” another wrote.
Fred Guttenberg, a gun safety activist who lost his daughter Jamie in the Parkland shooting, said: “As much as I despise @CawthornforNC, and think he is useless and a child, making fun of his being wheel chair bound is reprehensible. Not surprisingly, @laurenboebert did. Sadly, he will probably laugh with her about it and not call it out.”