Sen. Ben Sasse: I think about leaving the GOP ‘every morning’

Posted at 9:28 AM, Sep 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-09 12:10:07-04

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said Sunday that he thinks about leaving the GOP “every morning.”

The Nebraska senator’s comment comes after he tweeted last week that he “regularly” thinks about switching to become an independent.

Sasse expanded on the thought Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” telling anchor Jake Tapper, “I probably think about it every morning when I wake up and I figure out, why — why am I flying away from Nebraska to go to D.C. this week? Are we going to get real stuff done?”

Sasse said he is “committed to the party of (Abraham) Lincoln and (Ronald) Reagan as long as there’s a chance to reform it. But this party used to be for some pretty definable stuff. And, frankly, neither of these parties are for very much more than being anti.”

Sasse, who has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, criticized the “chaos” and “reality TV circus” that he said is going on inside the White House, remarks that come amid reports of upheaval within the administration.

“It’s pretty obvious when you are engaging with the White House, as I do many, many times a week, there is a lot of chaos and a lot of reality TV circus and that is different than a long-term view,” Sasse said.

The Nebraska senator went on to call the 2016 election a “dumpster fire” and decried party divisions he believes both major presidential candidates sowed.

“Both (Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton) went into the election mostly being against the other one, and the American people basically said ‘a pox on your houses,’ and then they decided who to vote for who was the less bad, in their view,” Sasse said. “We shouldn’t have elections like that in the future.”

Sasse also downplayed any speculation that he might challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential race.

“I think the odds are a lot higher that I run for the Noxious Weed Control Board of Dodge County, Nebraska, than that,” he quipped.