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I already knew that radical Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has real contempt for President Barack Obama, but his recent racially-offensive joke was a broad slap at black people from Austin to Africa.

Cruz, speaking to a crowd in Houston, Texas, took a narrow-minded shot at Obama’s struggling website launch for the Affordable Care Act and managed to insult black people on two continents.

“You may have noticed that all the Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately,” Cruz told the audience. “They all have been hired to run the Obamacare website.”

Really? A black joke? Republicans are nothing if not predictable. But it’s getting old.

By using “Nigerian” in his warped wisecrack, was Cruz deliberately trying to link Obama to scammers because Obama’s father is African? (Obama’s father is actually from Kenya, so perhaps Cruz also needs an Africa geography lesson.)

Or was Cruz trying to fire up his hate-filled conservative base by not-so-subtly introducing Obama’s African roots to the discussion of Obamacare, which Republicans are desperate to derail?

This is what passes for Republican leadership these days: Criticizing a black president through a sweeping generalization that African people are criminals. It’s slanderous, racially-offensive and, I believe, intentional.

Rep. Matt Cartwright called (D-PA) called Cruz’s joke misguided.

“Jokes about Nigerian scammers, you know, I wonder how much off the cuff that really was, and how calculated it was to appeal to Sen. Cruz’s base, many of whom believe that the president is from Africa,” Cartwright said this week on MSNBC.

COMMENTARY: Sen. Ted Cruz: ‘Nigerian E-mail Scammers’ Are Running Obamacare Website  was originally published on

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