Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse is drawing more flak in his home state of Nebraska over his repeated attacks on former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Last week the local Republican Party in the state’s largest conservative county announced it had had enough and voted to line up with other counties and censure Sasse, 48, a Nebraska native who has served in the Senate since 2015.
Sasse rejected the threat by defending himself in a video released Thursday. It was addressed to members of the Republican State Central Committee. The committee will vote Feb. 13 on whether to censure him.
“You are welcome to censure me again,” Sasse says in the video, “but let’s be clear about why this is happening. It’s because I still believe, as you used to, that politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude.” Sasse then added:
Let’s be clear: The anger in this state party has never been about me violating principle or abandoning conservative policy ‒ I’m one of the most conservative voters in the Senate ‒ the anger’s always been simply about me not bending the knee to one guy .Personality cults aren’t conservative. Conspiracy theories aren’t conservative. Lying that an election has been stolen is not conservative.
The push to censure Sasse follows his long history of lashing out at Trump.
As recently as last month Sasse said he would not rule out invoking the 25th Amendment or impeaching President Donald Trump over the riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Sasse said Trump “incited” the mob by telling them to “go wild.” He also claimed Trump is “addicted” to division and lies, as Breitbart News reported.
Previous to that, Sasse used an October telephone town hall meeting with constituents to excoriate Trump, alleging he “flirted with white supremacists,” privately mocks Christian evangelicals, and “kisses dictators’ butts,” all while mismanaging the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uyghurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers,” Sasse said in response to a question about his relationship with Trump and his past criticisms of the president.
They continued a theme he first broached back in August when, as Breitbart News reported, Sasse criticized Trump’s executive orders to halt the government’s collection of payroll tax, and provide $400 federal unemployment checks to Americans.
“The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop,” Sasse wrote in a statement, complaining Trump “does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law.”
Trump was quick to respond:
RINO Ben Sasse, who needed my support and endorsement in order to get the Republican nomination for Senate from the GREAT State of Nebraska, has, now that he’s got it (Thank you President T), gone rogue, again. This foolishness plays right into the hands of the Radical Left Dems!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Sasse offered no evidence to back his most recent claims as he weighed into Trump’s “stupid political obsessions.”
The current censure proposal focuses on what it called Sasse’s “character attacks,” according to the World-Herald.
Douglas County Republican Party Chairman Christian Mirch told the newspaper its members had not received a censure motion and “Instead, the DCRP is focused on moving forward as a unified party, with an eye toward our shared conservative values.”