Slamming Trump, GOP Sen. Ben Sasse warns of a 'Republican bloodbath' in Senate


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  15 comments

By:   Nicholas Fandos (chicagotribune. com)

Slamming Trump, GOP Sen. Ben Sasse warns of a 'Republican bloodbath' in Senate
Sasse castigated Trump in a telephone town hall with constituents, accusing the president of bungling the response to the coronavirus pandemic and cozying up to dictators and white supremacists.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

By Nicholas FandosAssociated Press| Oct 15, 2020 at 8:29 PM

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., castigated President Donald Trump in a telephone town hall with constituents on Wednesday, accusing the president of bungling the response to the coronavirus pandemic, cozying up to dictators and white supremacists, and offending voters so broadly that he might cause a "Republican bloodbath" in the Senate.

In a dire, nine-minute indictment of Trump's foreign policy and what Sasse called his "deficient" values, the senator said the president had mistreated women and alienated important allies around the globe, been a profligate spender, ignored human rights and treated the pandemic like a "PR crisis." He predicted that a loss by Trump on Election Day, less than three weeks away, "looks likely," and said that Republicans would face steep repercussions for having backed him so staunchly over four tumultuous years.

"The debate is not going to be, 'Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?'" Sasse said, according to audio obtained by The Washington Examiner and authenticated by The New York Times. "It's going to be, 'What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?'"

"We are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami," he added.

Sasse also hinted at more drastic consequences: a "Venezuela style" Supreme Court with dozens of justices installed by ascendant Democrats; an empowered China ruling the Pacific because of Trump's "weak" policies; and American allies doubting whether they can "trust in U.S. strength and U.S. will."

Sasse, who is up for reelection on Nov. 3, went public with his concerns at a time when Republicans are increasingly worried that Trump is careening toward a devastating loss in November's elections that could also cost them the Senate, handing Democrats, who already hold the House, unified control. After years of tolerating the president's Twitter bullying and disregard for party orthodoxy and basic American norms, their patience appears to be wearing thin.

He spoke to constituents on Wednesday around the same time that senators on the Judiciary Committee were concluding their questioning of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill. Sasse, a member of the panel, had lavished praise on Barrett, a favorite of conservatives who would tilt the court decidedly to the right.

Rarely has a split screen better encapsulated the trade-offs congressional Republicans have accepted over four years of Trump's presidency than a Republican senator exulting over his conservative Supreme Court nominee in one moment and lamenting his norm-shattering behavior — and his party's willingness to quietly tolerate it — in the next.

Sasse did not exactly try to keep his criticism quiet. James Wegmann, a spokesman who confirmed his comments, said 17,000 Nebraskans had been invited to participate in the call, though it does not appear to have been open to the general public. Sasse's critique played out after someone on the call asked the senator about his previous criticisms of Trump.

"Like a lot of Nebraskans, I am trying to understand your relationship with the president," the woman said. "Why do you have to criticize him so much?"

Sasse, a former university president with a doctorate in American history from Yale who styles himself as a principled conservative, has never made a secret of his distaste for Trump. During the 2016 campaign, he compared Trump to David Duke and refused to vote for him. In office, he called Trump's signature trade war with China "nuts."

But he had toned down his criticism in recent years, earning a crucial endorsement from the president he once savaged.

The remarks on Wednesday were far more scathing than any others he has made recently, and particularly notable given the tight hold Trump has taken over the Republican Party in his four years as president.

Sasse, 48, began by saying that he had worked hard to develop a "working relationship" with Trump, and even prayed for the president because he is one of "our leaders." He said he was pleased when Trump adopted traditionally conservative policy stances and nominated conservative judges. And, he added, he understood that some Nebraska voters were "frustrated" with his criticisms of the president.

But the compliments stopped there.

"I'm not at all apologetic for having fought for my values against his in places where I think his are deficient, not just for a Republican but for an American," Sasse said.

He argued that Trump had "careened from curb to curb" as he sought to respond to a pandemic that has claimed more than 217,000 American lives this year.

"He refused to treat it seriously," Sasse said. "For months, he treated it like a news-cycle-by-news-cycle PR crisis."

He added that he did not think Trump's leadership through the crisis had been "reasonable or responsible, or right."

The "deficiencies" added up from there.

"The way he kisses dictators' butts," Sasse said, listing his reservations about Trump. "I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers."

He continued: "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor."

Trump "mocks evangelicals behind closed doors," he added. "His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He's flirted with white supremacists."

Each of these things, Sasse predicted, would have consequences, for Republicans and the nation. He sounded particularly alarmed about the potential damage Trump, who supported Democrats for decades as a businessman, could do to the conservative cause in the long term by driving the country "to the left."

Young people, he said, could "become permanent Democrats because they've just been repulsed by the obsessive nature of our politics." Women, who have abandoned the party in droves, could decide "they need to turn away from this party permanently in the future."

"I'm now looking at the possibility of a Republican bloodbath in the Senate, and that's why I've never been on the Trump train," he said. "It's why I didn't agree to be on his reelection committee, and it's why I'm not campaigning for him."

In a statement, Wegmann did not comment on Sasse's remarks. He said the senator would remain focused on Senate races.

"I don't know how many more times we can shout this," Wegmann said. "Even though the Beltway is obsessing exclusively about the presidential race, control of the Senate is 10 times more important."


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1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

We await Trumpworld calling Ben Sasse a communist. 

1.1  Dulay  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

I'm just happy there is yet one more thing to distract Trump. As we all know, he demands genuflection so Sasse will be getting tweet attacked starting in 3,2,1.

1.2  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

Sasse has been saying these things since the 2016 campaign.

2  JBB    2 weeks ago

I expect lots of repubs will be abandoning Trump...

2.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  JBB @2    2 weeks ago

Methinks you expect incorrectly. But hey, it's nice to dream.

2.1.1  JBB  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1    2 weeks ago

The difference is that I have evidence what I said is true and you only have what you think...

2.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  JBB @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Your "evidence" is based on a skewed and biased poll in Florida put out by a equally biased leftist liberal leaning publication, so in essence it is the same as mine.

3  CB     2 weeks ago

So what, Sasse is a 'freak.' Highly educated and yet such an empty suited fool. I feel nothing when I hear the name. If I never hear his name again in this life—I'm good! There is priceless and there is worthless. Sasse you are worthless! And apparently your education is overrated.

Buzz of the Orient
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  CB @3    2 weeks ago

Obviously Sasse means nothing to me, but what I'm curious about is the reason for what seems to be your deep hatred of him.

3.1.1  CB   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 weeks ago

Hi Buzz! I don't have a hatred of Ben Sasse. I really don't have a hatred of Donald Trump either. And I put Trump out deliberately to emphasize this point: I hate what they stand for. All my life I have tried to do right by people for the right reasons, even when I get it wrong, even when I am severely wrong. I went so far as to even not fake my  'religion' just to be in the company of believers as a young adult—I let the church door hit me in the 'crack' on the way out before dishonoring myself or the congregation.

Ben Sasse 'lock-stepped' and left Romney to 'swiing' on the impeachment vote against Donald Trump when it is clear (to me anyway) that he knew Donald and the republicans were presenting a fake narrative merely intent on letting a guilty man go loose free—where other president are not even allowed to tread. Sasse, is intelligent enough to know that his party has established a new precedent for weakening the potency of the thread and action of impeachment.

I am disgusted with Donald for his callous treatment of the world and us in it; and now, I am disgusted and spit at those who "sell out" for a good time in the limelight!

Thanks for giving me a chance (space) to explain my position!

3.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  CB @3    2 weeks ago

I'm with you CB..... I don't care what Sass says, but how he votes, and he has toed the Trump/McConnell line at every instance.

4  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

I agree with Ben about an awful lot of what he says here. But I still kind of doubt he's going to vote for Biden.

Bob Nelson
4.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @4    2 weeks ago

He's another who talks the talk, but never walks the walk. He votes exactly as McConnell wishes. 

4.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1    2 weeks ago
never walks the walk

But what does/should "walking the walk" look like? You can have 500 criticisms of a person but still think he is a better choice than his opponent.

He votes exactly as McConnell wishes

The criticisms are of Trump (mainly his manner, not so much his policies), not of McConnell, and not of the Republican party platform. Sasse is a conservative. Why would he vote any other way?

Bob Nelson
4.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
mainly his manner, not so much his policies

They're indistinguishable. When he leads his supporters in chanting "Lock her up!", he is undermining the rule of law. When he trashes basic pandemic safety, he kills people. When he engages a trade war without knowing how to end it, he causes misery, raises the nation’s debt, and worsens our trade deficit. 

A President must be Presidential. Failure to behave "correctly" has negative consequences for the nation. 


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