South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright has landed a spot as one of three state co-chairs of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, The State newspaper reports. It’s hardly surprising that Cruz is attracting the support of the far-right flank of his party, but it’s interesting that he’s willing to be associated with Bright’s extremism.
Bright, who came in second in the Republican primary against Sen. Lindsey Graham last year, spent the campaign sharing far-right conspiracy theories, pushing “nullification” measures, and making thinly veiled allusions to his nostalgia for the Confederacy.
In a speech in 2013, he assured his audience that in the event of an anti-Obama revolution, South Carolina’s soldiers would turn against the president. “I’ve talked to plenty of soldiers, and these soldiers don’t much like what’s going on with Obama,” he said. “I mean, these are our troops, these are our family members, and I just don’t think he’ll have federal troops coming down here to South Carolina.”
In another 2013 speech, Bright lamented that it was under Abraham Lincoln that “government started becoming God and taking over this country,” declaring that he was ready to “lay down my life” fighting Big Government.
In another campaign event, Bright pushed undisguised “welfare queen” myths, deriding people who get food assistance even though “they’ve got the nicest nails and the nicest pocketbook and they get the nicest car” and never “turn around and say thank you.”
Bright isn’t just talk: In the state legislature, he has sponsored a bill to “nullify” the Affordable Care Act in South Carolina and a resolution affirming South Carolina’s “sovereignty,” along with various extreme anti-choice measures. He tried to oust the trustees of a state university when it hosted a play featuring a lesbian character and, as TPM notes, suggested impeaching a federal judge who ruled for marriage equality.