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Sen. Ted Cruz's remark on Obamacare, email scammers upsets Nigerian community

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is in hot water over comments he made about Obamacare and Nigerian email scammers while speaking at a Houston rally.

About 1,000 supporters cheered him on during his visit to Houston on Monday, but it was a remark he made about the Affordable Care Act that has one community in particular talking right now.

It was a Texas-sized homecoming for Cruz following the government shutdown. Supporters of the Lone Star senator cheered him on, but one statement in particular has some members of the Nigerian community upset.

"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," Cruz said during a public appearance at a Houston rally.

Pastor Felix Awotula with Redeemed Christian Church of God Awotula says he fielded calls at his church throughout the day.

"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," Awotula said.

A spokesperson for Sen. Cruz says:

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

Political consultants on the other side say otherwise.

"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," said Dallas Jones with Elite Change, Inc.

Some viewers say they've contacted the senator's office, asking for an apology.

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