Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday heaped praise on Jesse Helms at a Heritage Foundation lecture named after the late North Carolina senator.
“I’ll tell you something … the very first political contribution I ever made in my life was to Jesse Helms,'' Cruz said according to Roll Call newsletter. "When I was a kid, I sent $10 to Jesse Helms, ’cause they were beating up on him, they were coming after him hard and I thought it wasn’t right, and at the time my allowance was 50 cents a week,” the Texas Republican said. “I am willing to venture a guess that I may have been Jesse Helms’ single largest donor as a percentage of annual income.”
Cruz also recalled a story about when Helms received a campaign donation check from actor John Wayne. He explained that, according to the story, Helms figured out how to get in touch with Wayne and called to thank him for the support.
“Apparently Wayne said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re that guy saying all those crazy things. We need 100 more like you,’” Cruz said. ”The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic in this town, 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.”