When Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, passed away, no one was more effusive in the praise of the anti apartheid leader than Sen. Ted Cruz. However his words of praise, posted on Cruz’s Facebook page, elicited some nasty comments pointing out Mandela’s communist past. ABC News noted this, which in turn got a caustic response on Twitchy on December 6, 2013 that, in effect, the media was reaching, using not Cruz’s words, but largely anonymous comments, including one that compared the Hispanic American politician to the white, Afrikaner politicians of South Africa’s Apartheid regime.
"Yo Cruz, I grew up in Apartheid era South Africa and you are the embodiment if the hard headed fascism that was the National Party of that time." one commenter wrote. "You are who Mandela fought against, you and your half-witted tea party thinking is what he was willing to go to prison for (and if necessary die for) fighting against. He was the antithesis of your conservative crap."
To be sure, Newsmax, a more conservative publication, noted the kerfuffle in a December 7, 2013 story. The story noted that another conservative leader, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, also praised Mandela and mourned his passing.