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Helms: Leaving the Senate but Not the Fight

Thursday, 31 January 2002 12:00 AM

"There’s too much expediency all around,” declared Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.

In an emotional speech Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), marked by thunderous standing ovations, Helms urged the young conservatives in attendance to "stand up for and support President Bush because he needs you.”

The veteran lawmaker, who will retire at the end of this year after 30 years on Capitol Hill, choked up as he vowed his love for "those young people who want to support the moral and spiritual principles of this country.”

Referring to President Bush as a "remarkable young man,” the senator recalled a conversation this week in which the president told him he had to make a decision years ago to choose between right and wrong.

Helms, whose decision to run for office in 1972 was prompted by "the disgraceful conduct” of the 1960s counterculture, said the night he was elected he promised himself he would see any young people who wanted to talk to him. The former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he had "kept a lot of diplomats waiting while young people had come to see me.”

"I get a little choked up when I say this, but I love you. I wish you well. God bless you.”

David Keene, president of American Conservative Union and organizer of CPAC, said in response to Helms’ speech, "We know what you’ve meant to us, and we love you too.” The CPAC conference had a banquet scheduled Thursday in the senator’s honor.

The senator was introduced by Elizabeth Dole, who is running for his Senate seat. He said he looked forward to next January "when she becomes the next conservative Republican senator from North Carolina.” Dole said she wanted to succeed Helms but knew she would never replace him.

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There's too much expediency all around," declared Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C. In an emotional speech Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), marked by thunderous standing ovations, Helms urged the young conservatives in attendance to stand...
Helms:,Leaving,the,Senate,but,Not,the,Fight
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2002-00-31
Thursday, 31 January 2002 12:00 AM
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