Dem Rep: Ted Cruz’s ‘Nigerian Scammer’ Joke Appeals to ‘Backward People’ In GOP Base

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joked that the problem-plagued HealthCare.Gov website was designed by notoriously unscrupulous “Nigerian email scammers.” Reacting to that quote, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) said that jokes like this appeal to the “fairly backward people” in the Republican Party’s base who believe that President Barack Obama “is from Africa.”

“I think they have to cringe when they hear what you quoted Senator Cruz saying at the top of the show,” Cartwright said of Republicans in Congress.

“I wonder how much off-the-cuff that really was, and how calculated it was to appeal to Senator Cruz’s base,” Cartwright continued, “many of whom believe that the president is from Africa.”

RELATED: Ted Cruz: ‘Nigerian Email Scammers’ Hired to Run Obamacare Website

“Why is it that they continue to exploit the implicit racial passions that are deeply embedded in this country, as opposed to playing to the higher road where we can all come together?” asked fill-in host Michael Eric Dyson.

“Well, I don’t know that they’re doing that,” Cartwright replied. “I will say that I suspect it.”

“There are a lot of fairly backward people that are a part of the base of people like Senator Cruz and comments like that are right up their ally,” he concluded.

Watch the clip below via MSNBC:

[Photo via screen grab ]

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.