Senate

Sasse: GOP in a battle between ‘conservatism and short-term-ism’

Greg Nash

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (R), who voted to convict former President Trump earlier this month in the Senate impeachment trial, warned that the Republican Party is in an internal battle between “conservatism and short-term-ism.”  

Sasse noted in an interview with NPR released Tuesday that “obviously there are a lot of people frustrated with me in Nebraska,” but he added that “a lot of them also have the six-and-a-half-year history with me where they know that though I’m a very conservative guy, I’m pretty independent-minded.”  

“I don’t think they’re very surprised, but obviously there is a move at county and state levels across the country to have the Republican party focus, even more, on the personality of Donald Trump. And I don’t think that’s healthy,” he told the outlet. 

Several county-level GOP organizations in Nebraska have censured Sasse in a rebuke of his vote in the impeachment trial. The state Republican Central Committee is also expected to consider resolutions to censure the GOP lawmaker, according to The Associated Press.

Sasse’s comments also come at a time when the GOP faces divisions within the party between those who still support the former president and those who are looking to move on from the Trump era of Republican politics.

Republican senators indicated to The Hill on Sunday that they see a new opportunity for someone else in the GOP to take the party’s top spot as leader going into the 2024 election cycle. 

During his interview with NPR, Sasse said the GOP needed to assess where the party stands. 

Asked whether the GOP is “still Donald Trump’s party,” Sasse called for the Republican Party to “distinguish between conservatism and short-term-ism.” 

“I think it’s important to give a frank assessment of where the party of Lincoln and Reagan is right now,” Sasse said. “I think there’s a whole bunch of stuff the party of Lincoln and Reagan needs to do to persuade people we have a 2030 agenda, not a 20-minute Twitter agenda.”

The Senate acquitted Trump in his second impeachment trial earlier this month in a 57-43 vote, after he was charged with inciting the mob that rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Seven GOP senators, including Sasse, voted alongside every Democrat to find the former president guilty.

Following Trump’s second impeachment trial, 75 percent of Republicans said in a poll released Monday that they want him to continue playing a prominent role in the Republican party.

Sasse, prior to his vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial, released a video pushing back against retaliation from the Nebraska Republican State Central Committee, warning that “political addicts don’t represent most Nebraska conservatives.”

“I listen to Nebraskans every day and very few of them are as angry about life as some of the people on this committee. Not all of you, but a lot,” Sasse said in the video.  

Tags Ben Sasse Ben Sasse Donald Trump Impeachment Nebraska Trump impeachment

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