Cruz comment about Nigerian email scammers upsets community

According to the ABC News-affiliate in Houston, Texas, Nigerians are not happy with how Cruz portrayed them.

Cruz took a stab at the ObamaCare unveiling at a Tea Party rally earlier this week. 

"Have you all noticed, you know the Nigerian email scammers? They've been a lot less active lately, because they've all been hired to run the Obamacare websites," he said. 

Cruz initiated the GOP’s campaign to only fund the government as long as the healthcare law is defunded. Since the insurance exchanges launched at the beginning of October, Americans have struggled to enroll because of technical issues running HealthCare.gov. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation lists Nigerian Letter, more commonly “419,” is one of the most common fraud schemes. Some Nigerians still found Cruz’s comment offensive. 

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"I'm not too sure of the motive behind that. But anyway, the statement has been made, and it has a devastating effect in the mind of Nigerians because we don't want to identify the country with anything negative. I'm not saying all Nigerians are perfect," Pastor Felix Awotula of the Redeemed Christian Church of God told the ABC affiliate. 

Political consultant Dallas Jones from Elite Change Inc. agreed Cruz’s comments went too far.

“That type of dialogue is inflammatory. I think it is one that will divide us, as opposed to unite us, and I think that's what the country wants right now; they want to be united, they want real leadership that's not going to be culturally insensitive,” he said. 

The TV station said a spokesperson for Cruz said it was a joke.

"The senator was making a joke based on the official term of a commonly utilized type of scam. He meant no offense."