Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said at a Thursday press conference that it is a mistake to "sanitize history" by taking down Confederate monuments.
Cruz said those decisions on Confederate monuments should be local ones, but that in his view it's not beneficial, the Washington Examiner reports.
"I don't think it's beneficial to go through and try to sanitize history and try to erase the Civil War. We have a history that needs to be presented fairly, needs to be presented in context. It needs to clearly enunciate the evils of slavery," Cruz said.
"And so, I don't think we should go through and simply try to erase from history prior chapters even if they were wrong. But I think that's a decision each community needs to make as to how to appropriately acknowledge that history, how to commemorate that history, how to recognize that history," he said.
The debate over Confederate monuments was reignited after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday, partially in protest of the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee in that city. Two days later, a monument to Confederate soldiers was torn down by protesters in Durham, N.C.
Cruz strongly denounced the rally, writing in a Facebook post, "if you have Nazis and the Klan speaking, I think the rest of us have a moral obligation to denounce the lies and bigotry and evil and hatred that they’re spreading."
Cruz refused to comment on President Donald Trump's Tuesday comments on hate groups, and said, "I'm going to speak for myself."