Sen. Ted Cruz Praises Racist Jesse Helms (Video)

| by Michael Allen

During a speech on Wednesday at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) praised the late Republican Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) as an example for present-day lawmakers.

“The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic. And you know what? It’s every bit as true now as it was then. We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate," said Sen. Cruz, noted Mediate.com.

The Tea Party favorite said that as a child, he donated $10 to Helms "because they were all beating up on him, they were coming after him hard, and I thought it wasn’t right.”

What Sen. Cruz didn't mention was Helms' long history of racism.

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Rachel Maddow reported on her MSNBC show on Thursday (video below) that Helms got his political start in 1950 by attacking interracial marriage and accusing the spouse of a political adversary, Frank Porter Graham, of dancing with a "black man."

Helms opposed the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s, and in 1983 he filibustered against a Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. He also supported South Africa during its apartheid days.

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Maddow also recalled how Helms sang the opening lines of "Dixie" in an elevator to Carol Moseley-Braun, who was only the second African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

According to Moseley-Braun, Helms bragged to another senator in 1993: "I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing 'Dixie' until she cries."

Helms also ran an infamous racist commercial against Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, who is black, in a 1990 Senate race (video below).

In addition to his racism, Helms opposed funding AIDS research in the 1980s, noted The Huffington Post.

Sources: Mediate.com, MSNBC, The Huffington Post