Iowa GOP Chairman: ‘Sanctimonious and Arrogant’ Ben Sasse Not Welcome

ben_sasse AP PhotoTom Williams
AP Photo/Tom Williams

Chairman of the Iowa Republican Party Jeff Kaufmann launched a scathing attack on Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, describing him as an “arrogant academic,” just weeks before he is due to keynote a local party dinner in the state.

In a speech preceding Donald Trump’s rally in the state, Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann made a point of rebuking Trump’s critics, including the Democrats, the media, and the Never Trump Republicans.

“We had Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska, he crosses the Missouri River, and in that sanctimonious tone talks about what he doesn’t like about Donald Trump,” Kaufmann said. “You know what, Senator Sasse? I really don’t care what you like. We love Donald Trump. And if you don’t love him, I suggest you stay on your side of the Missouri River.”

Sasse’s last visit to the state was in January 2016, where he campaigned alongside three separate candidates — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina — in an attempt to prevent Trump from winning the party’s presidential nomination.

A prominent figure in the Never Trump movement, Sasse refused to vote for Trump, claiming he had “no understanding” of the Constitution and describing him as having a “relentless focus on dividing Americans.”

“He’s an arrogant academic,” Kaufmann told Politico after the event. “He’s sanctimonious. His statements are geared toward what can help him. He’s arrogant. And he’s not a team player, when in reality the only reason he’s got any clout at all in the Senate is because the Republican Party has the majority.”

“The most important thing to Ben Sasse is Ben Sasse,” he added.

Kaufmann also expressed scorn over suggestions that Sasse might be considering a run for president in 2020 as the anti-Trump candidate.

“He’s not that crazy,” Kaufmann said. “Nobody will be that crazy.”

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