Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called Democrats "the party of the Ku Klux Klan" and said Democrats ignore their history when accusing Republicans of being racist.

Cruz, speaking on Fox News Wednesday, said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., reading a letter from Coretta Scott King about Republican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is an ugly tactic by Democrats to paint people as racist. He said Warren should look at her own party before ripping Sessions.

"I'll point out the Democrats are the party of the Ku Klux Klan," he said. "You look at the most racist, you'll see Dixiecrats. They were Democrats who imposed segregation, they imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan. The Klan was founded by a great many Democrats."

The Dixiecrats were a segregationist party represented by South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond who ran for president in 1948. After Thurmond was defeated, Dixiecrats generally rejoined the Democratic ranks but many white conservative Democrats in the South left the party for the Republican Party following the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Warren was reading a letter from King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, written in the 1980s about Sessions, accusing him of using his power as a U.S. attorney to work against civil rights.

Cruz said Warren was engaging in tactics that generally turn off many Americans.

"The charges she was making against Jeff Sessions are demonstrably false," he said. "They're slanderous, they're ugly. It's one of the crutches – you know, when the Left doesn't have any other arguments, they accuse everyone of being a racist. And it's an ugly part of the modern Democratic Party."