Sen. Ted Cruz accused Democrats of using charges of racism as a “crutch” and blamed the party for the founding of the Klu Klux Klan during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.
The Texas Republican defended attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., from charges that he tried to stop African-Americans from voting during his time as Alabama attorney general.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was not allowed to debate on the floor after reading a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King that accused Sessions of using “the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.”
Cruz said that was a false smear of Sessions.
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— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 7, 2017
Founded in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) extended into almost every southern state by 1870 and became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks. Its members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence directed at white and black Republican leaders. Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal–the reestablishment of white supremacy–fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s.