In Joe Biden’s polls and campaigning against a growing pandemic, Donald Trump decided to use time on Saturday morning to rant a Twitter rant against a member of his own Senate party that faces a Republican defeat on November 3.
The president called Ben Sasse “short,” “the least effective of our 53 Republican senators,” “quite stupid and gross,” and “an embarrassment for the great state of Nebraska.”
“That being said,” Trump concluded, “he’s just a wonderful guy!”
Sasse’s crime was harshly criticizing Trump on a phone call with voters first reported by the Washington Examiner. He said the president “kisses the dictators’ asses” and “flirts with white supremacists”.
“I am now examining the possibility of a Republican carnage in the Senate, so I have never been on the Trump train,” said Sasse.
This week, analysts for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics predicted that Senate Democrats “would get between one and eight seats net … enough to give them a small majority.”
Sasse, 48, a libertarian conservative who is widely believed to be contemplating a 2024 presidential election, is a port of call for re-election. In 2018 he published a book-length appeal for courtesy across the aisle: You: Why we hate each other – and how to heal.
Critics, however, mocked his claim of “never being on the Trump train” – he voted with Trump’s White House 87% of the time and joined the rest of his party except Mitt Romney to acquit Trump on both impeachments Fees.
Speaking to voters, Sasse criticized Trump for treating the coronavirus pandemic “like a PR crisis” and said the president was “kissing the asses of dictators [and] mocks evangelicals behind closed doors ”.
“His family treated the presidency like a business opportunity,” said Sasse. “He’s been flirting with white supremacists.”
There is ample evidence to support such allegations. But Trump also pointed out harsh political truths when highlighting the fate of other senators who have turned against him.
“Senator Sasse was as nice as a RINO [Republican in Name Only] may be until he recently won the Republican nomination for a second term, ”wrote Trump. “Then he went back to his rather stupid and disgusting ways. Must feel like he can’t lose to a Democrat. “
Trump later added that Sasse “appears to be following the same inglorious path as former Senators Liddle ‘Bob Corker … and Jeff’ the Flake ‘Flake”.
Corker from Tennessee was once considered a fellow campaigner or secretary of state, but compared Trump’s White House to a “daycare for adults” and retired in 2018. That year, Flake from Arizona also resigned.
Trump said both were “totally ineligible, nowhere near winning their primaries, and decided to step out of politics and gracefully retire.” Could Sasse be next, or should Republicans perhaps find a new and more viable candidate? “
That will not happen. Even so, Washington Post Conservative Columnist Jennifer Rubin accused Sasse on Friday of not publicly rejecting Trump.
“He was silent when his compatriots needed openness,” wrote Rubin.
“Sasse has not come publicly in defense of Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, in the face of Trump’s attacks. He hasn’t warned governors not to follow Trump’s recommendations on the pandemic, admonished the White House to avoid masks and social distancing, or talked about Trump’s behavior once the president was infected or in any meaningful way with the American people Trumps equated racism and contempt for religion.
“One must conclude that mere cowardice and a yen to stay in office (which requires him to avoid the wrath of the MAGA crowd) are responsible for his reluctance. As with any other quiet Republican during this period, personal ambition prevailed over commitment to the country and the constitution. “
On Saturday, James Wegmann, a spokesman for Sasse, claimed, “Ben told the Nebraskans the same thing he had repeatedly told the President in the Oval Office. Ben is focused on defending the Republican Senate majority and he won’t waste a minute tweeting. “