I must admit there were many times I found myself at odds with Senator Helms and occasionally agreed with his critics. But believe it or not he did have an open mind. When he first came to the Senate, he was not sympathetic to Israel. But his time with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he came to realize its struggles and strategic value to the United States.
Although Helms was known for his opposition to AIDs funding he did soften his views somewhat due to his relationship with U2 lead singer Bono and Helms became an outspoken advocate for AIDs funding in Africa where it is most acutely needed.
He might have had a crusty exterior but he did have a heart.