The Nigerian ambassador to the United States demanded Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) apologize for a joke he cracked that “Nigerian email scammers” built HealthCare.gov, Politico reported Thursday.
Ambassador Ade Adefuye told Politico that Cruz’s remark “disappointed and shocked” Nigerians.
“We deplore the statement, and we demand an apology, and we demand it be withdrawn,” Adefuye said.
“It is unfair of any senator to essentially use citizens that are law abiding, to use Nigerians as cannon fodder,” Adefuye said. “We recognize that we have efforts on the part of Sen. Cruz to appeal to some animus in his domestic base. In the course of doing that, to allow him to ridicule a country and its citizens is completely over the top. He should not denigrate Nigerians in order to appease these domestic constituents.”
Cruz made the comment at his “Welcome Home” speech in Houston on Monday.
“You may have noticed that all the Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately,” Cruz said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “They all have been hired to run the Obamacare website.”
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) criticized the comments the next day, saying they appealed to a “backward” part of Cruz’s base that believes the president is from Africa, according to Politico.