The passing of former South African president Nelson Mandela on Thursday was not enough to calm the political ire from the far-right–particularly that of Sen. Ted Cruz’s most ardent supporters.
The Texas senator posted a statement on his Facebook page Thursday evening after news of Mandela’s death was reported, praising Mandela as an “inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe.” But Cruz’s statement was met with outrage from commenters as they blasted the senator for paying tribute to the late leader.
“Has political corectness gotten the better of you???” one fan wrote.
Another: “Did he not also ‘inspire’ much of the black-on-white violence of the present day? I wish you would have damned Mandela with faint praise instead of sounding like a liberal, Senator.”
Others took to the comment thread to call Mandela a terrorist and a murderer, and criticized Cruz for not attacking the deceased by calling him out for being a communist. But as msnbc’s Adam Serwer points out, “the communist label was affixed not just to the murderous despotism of Stalin but any government effort to materially improve the lives of poor people. Both in the United States and South Africa, the cause of racial equality was once portrayed as little more than a front for communism.”
While some of Cruz’s fans spoke up in support of the senator’s statement, the majority of the comment thread tore into the legacy of the late president.
Cruz is not the only Republican leader who is being criticized for his tribute: statements posted on Facebook by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Marco Rubio also received similar attacks.