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Proving that one should never underestimate the ambitions of a politician, Sen. Ben Sasse appeared to take steps this week to position himself ahead of the field for a potential 2024 presidential run by separating himself from President Donald Trump.
With less than three weeks before election day, it would appear that Sasse is banking on a Trump defeat as he trashed the president on a conference call with constituents and the mainstream media was quick to amplify the criticism.
The Republican senator from Nebraska hit the president for allegedly mishandling the pandemic response, claiming Trump “kisses dictators’ butts,” “sells out our allies,” and spends “like a drunken sailor,” the Washington Examiner reported.
But that wasn’t the half of it, as he also claimed Trump mistreats women, trash-talks evangelicals behind their backs and has “flirted with white supremacists.”
Sasse, who the New York Times characterized in 2016 as “a ‘Never Trump’ holdout in the Senate,” expressed concern on the call that Trump’s actions may allow Democrats to take control of the upper chamber.
He seemed to soften his stance toward the president somewhat since then, and did fault the media somewhat when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak.
“In his partial defense here, I think that lots of the news media has pretended that COVID is literally the first public health crisis ever,” Sasse noted. “And somehow, it’s Donald Trump’s fault. That’s not true. They just wanted to use it against him.”
“But the reality is that he careened from curb to curb,” he suggested. “First, he ignored COVID. And then went into full economic shutdown mode. He was the one who said 10 to 14 days of shutdown would fix this. And that was always wrong. I mean, and so I don’t think the way he’s lead through COVID has been reasonable or responsible, or right.”
Odd how President Trump is hit from the left if he doesn’t listen to the experts and hit by critics on the right if he does.
Turning his focus to foreign policy and other issues, Sasse unloaded both barrels — sounding as if he spends a little too much time watching CNN.
“The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uighurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang,” he told those on the call. “Right now, he hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers.”
“The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor,” he said. “The ways I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending; I have criticized President Trump for as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists.”
Fearful that Trump may drive the country further to the left, Sasse slammed him for his “stupid political obsessions.”
“If young people become permanent Democrats because they’ve just been repulsed by the obsessive nature of our politics, or if women who were willing to still vote with the Republican Party in 2016 decide that they need to turn away from this party permanently in the future,” he said. “I’ve spent lots of the last year on a campaign bus, and when you listen to Nebraskans, they don’t really want more rage tweeting as a new form of entertainment.”
Referring to the 2016 election, Sasse said Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unlikeable — which would certainly explain why Democrats followed up on her with a 77-yeard-old politician who has been in Washington D.C. for 47 years.
“I think the overwhelming reason that President Trump won in 2016 was simply because Hillary Clinton was literally the most unpopular candidate in the history of polling,” he spewed.
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