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GOP Senate candidate doubles down on Robert E. Lee despite Twitter poll

GOP Senate candidate doubles down on Robert E. Lee despite Twitter poll
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A Republican Senate candidate doubled down on his claims that Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was an American hero after he conducted a Twitter poll in which the vast majority of respondents disagreed with the statement.

Chris McDaniel, a GOP state senator in Mississippi, on Friday tweeted a quote by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt praising Lee as "one of the greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen."

McDaniel has recently used Twitter to argue that Lee is a hero, calling him “a man of unimpeachable integrity” and incorrectly claiming that the general was against both secession and slavery.

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Several historians have debunked McDaniels’s statements, noting that Lee left the Union to join Confederate forces and was in favor of slavery.

Lee's legacy was highlighted after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year, which was held in defense of a statue of the Confederate general. 

McDaniel also conducted a Twitter poll on Thursday asking if Lee should be considered a hero or a villain. Out of the nearly 140,000 votes in the poll, 91 percent said Lee should be labeled a villain.

The candidate tweeted another poll on Friday, saying it was “for liberals” and asking how tall President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border should be.

McDaniel is facing off against GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the Mississippi Senate seat after Thad Cochran's (R) resignation earlier this year, and Democrat Mike Espy.

McDaniel is trailing Hyde-Smith by 10 points in the race, according to a poll leaked from Hyde-Smith’s campaign and obtained by BuzzFeed News earlier this month.