Sasse: Republican Party ‘unpersuasive’ and vulnerable

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) told an Iowa newspaper on Saturday that the Republican Party is unpersuasive and doesn't have "clarity of any long-term vision." 

"Those two sides of the Republican Party - you can call it a Wall Street-K Street continuum and a Bannonite populism - both of them are unpersuasive to moms and dads in Iowa and Nebraska who are thinking about what kind of country they want to give their kids in 10 and 20 years," Sasse told the Des Moines Register.

He made the comments after speaking at a fundraiser for the Iowa Family Leader, a Christian advocacy group. 

"I think that the Republican Party doesn't have clarity of any long-term vision that it communicates to the American people. That's why in the 2016 presidential election you saw it ripe for a pretty fundamental attack on its platform," the Nebraska senator, who has been a frequent critic of President Trump's since the 2016 campaign, added.

Visiting Iowa is typically seen as a way to lay groundwork for a future presidential campaign, as it hosts the first caucus of each campaign cycle.

According to the newspaper, Sasse said at the beginning of his speech he had no intention of discussing the 2016, 2020 or 2024 presidential elections. He has demurred on previous questions surrounding his potential 2020 candidacy.

He reportedly did tell the crowd that the only way to be a good citizen and a good Republican "is to be a great American first."

"And a great American doesn't put politics anywhere near the center of our identity."