Ted Cruz: “We Need 100 More Like” Vicious Bigot Jesse Helms

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Former North Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms

Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event Wednesday, Ted Cruz praised one of the worst people ever to walk the halls of Congress: Jesse Helms, a Republican senator from North Carolina in office from 1973-2003.

Cruz boasted that he gave his very first political contribution at age 10. And what does Cruz think of him now?

We need 100 more like Jesse Helms,” Cruz said.

That would be 100 more of a man who got his start in politics by accusing an opponent's wife of dancing with a black man and considered gay people to be “weak, morally sick wretches”. And it got far worse than even that.

Read the full accounting of what Helms did and believed below the jump.Helms' 1990 ad, “Hands,” featured a pair of white hands crumpling a job rejection letter while a narrator droned on about how Harvey Gant, Helms' African-American opponent, supported racial quotas. The ad repulsed millions of Americans across the country and solidified Helm's national reputation as a bigot. But, as Mother Jones' Tim Murphy notes, Helms' bigotry “cut much deeper”.

Helms fought back against a crucial initiative for HIV research when AIDS first broke out because “there is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy”. He called AIDS education “so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up.” Helms won that battle, and thousands of Americans died when they could have been helped the most. Helms also opposed letting lesbians serve in high-ranking government positions.

“Helms' racism was unmatched on Capitol Hill,” Murphy explains. He called the Civil Rights Act “the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in the Congress”. He called the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill “the University of Negroes and Communists.” Here's a story to make your blood curdle further:

Shortly after Carol Moseley-Braun became only the second African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Senate in 1993, she got in an elevator with Helms and Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. Helms began singing the opening lines of “Dixie,” and then he turned to Hatch: “I'm going to make her cry,” Helms said. “I'm going to sing 'Dixie' until she cries.

Ted Cruz believes America would be better with 100 Jesse Helms in Washington. As if Ted Cruz's nascent, hideous Senate career prior to today weren't proof, it's as clear as day that America would be 100 times better off without Ted Cruz in Washington. This isn't the first time Cruz has aligned himself with slime like Helms: this summer, he attended and spoke at an anti-immigration rally hosted by white nationalist John Tanton, who called black people a “retrograde species of humanity”.

Remember, Republicans – including Ted Cruz – profess the need to bring in more people to the Republican Party. Problem is, they don't believe it.

About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental political challenge of our time because it affects every other issue in American politics. He is currently on leave for the election season.

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