While Texas Sen. Ted Cruz offered strong support for the courage and perseverance of South African president and global human-rights icon Nelson Mandela, some political supporters were angry at his remarks.
"Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe… Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free," Cruz wrote in a statement.
It also was posted to his Facebook page
, where it earned him more than 6,200 likes by Saturday night.
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But others expressed outrage that Cruz didn't, as others have in the wake of Mandela's death Thursday at 95, call him out as a communist and terrorist, ABC News reported
"Honoring him is like honoring the Prince of Darkness," one of Cruz's followers posted in response.
Others made it personal, comparing Cruz to the National Party of South Africa that Mandela opposed.
"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."
But Cruz earned the support of some conservative leaders who spoke out against the criticism lobbed against him over the Mandela praise.
Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and CNN "Crossfire"
host, offered similar high regard for Mandela, telling CNN that he was "one of the greatest leaders of our lifetime."
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