“The way he kisses dictators’ asses. I mean, the way he ignores the fact that the Uyghurs are literally in concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kong people,” Sasse replied to a question of the member after his relationship with Trump and his previous criticism of the president.
Despite Sasse’s reputation as a regular critic of the president, he was a trusted Republican voice for Trump administration candidates and for GOP politics. The Sasse spokesman did not respond to a question whether the Nebraska Republican supports Trump’s re-election.
Republican lawmakers have largely avoided attacking Trump since he took office nearly four years ago, but the rare sharp criticism from Sasse comes just weeks before an election in which the party risks losing both the White House and Senate, which the Senator emphasizes in his answer.
Sasse lamented Trump’s “stupid political obsessions” and, during the appeal, stressed the possibility that the president’s political brand could alienate women and young voters in the future.
“When young people become permanent Democrats because they have just been rejected by obsession with our politics, or when women who were ready to vote with the Republican Party in 2016 decide to turn away from that party permanently.” In the future, the debate will no longer be “Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?” “he said.” It will read, ‘What the hell did any of us think it was a good idea to sell a television obsessed narcissist to the American people?’ That’s not a good idea. ”
The senator also criticized Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying he did not consider the president’s leadership to be “sensible or accountable” during the crisis.
“The reality is he was moving from curb to curb. At first he ignored Covid. And then he went into full economic shutdown mode. He was the one who said 10-14 days of shutdown would fix this, and that was always wrong. “he said. “So I don’t think the way it is being run by Covid was sensible or responsible or right.”
Sasse spokesman James Wegmann, in a statement to CNN on Thursday, highlighted the Senator’s concerns over Republican control of the Senate.
“I don’t know how many more times we can shout this: while the Beltway is solely race-obsessed with the race of the President, control of the Senate is ten times more important,” he said. “The fragile Senate seats that determine whether Democrats destroy the Senate are the races Ben cares about, the races he’s working on, and the only races he’s talking about.”
Sasse noted in the call that he hadn’t supported Trump during his 2016 campaign.
“That’s been my fear for five years,” he said on the call. “That’s why in 2016 I promoted everyone who is not called Trump.”