In a blunt and defiant video, Sen. Ben Sasse on Thursday told a Nebraska Republican group to go ahead and censure him for “not bending the knee” to former President Donald Trump.
“You are welcome to censure me again – but let’s be clear about why: It’s because I still believe (as you used to) that politics is not about the weird worship of one dude.”
While he described himself as “one of the most conservative voters in the Senate,” the Nebraska Republican has been one of his caucus’s most vocal critics of Trump, and is one of the few Republican lawmakers to condemn Trump’s rhetoric that led up to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, in which five people died, including a police officer. Sasse was also one of the few Republicans who supported moving forward with a second impeachment trial.
The Nebraska Republican Party State Central Committee will consider a motion to formally censure Sasse next week. The committee has previously censured Sasse for not being supportive enough of Trump.
In the YouTube video Thursday, Sasse said: “Now, many of you are hacked off that I condemned his lies that led to a riot…. 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.”
“Something has definitely changed over the last four years … but it’s not me,” he said.
Sasse added that “personality cults” and “conspiracy theories” are not conservative.
“We’re gonna have to choose between conservatism and madness, between just railing at who we’re mad at, versus actually trying to persuade generations of Americans again.”