He’d probably call
McCarthy 2.0 Cruz “one of the good ones.”
The Daily Beast’s Jamelle Bouie frames Cruz’s praise of Helms in the context of the GOP’s far-right tilt:
When then-Senator Trent Lott praised Strom Thurmond and his segregationist campaign for president in 1948—”We voted for him. We’re proud of it.”—it all but cost him his career. In a sane world, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would also be on the political ropes, in his case, for cheering the late Jesse Helms of North Carolina, an unreconstructed bigot who devoted his life to the defense of white supremacy and the advancement of far-right politics. Instead, Cruz—who in many ways is the ideological successor to Helms—will lose nothing, and continue to act as the avatar for forces that will destroy the Republican Party if they aren’t stopped.