President Donald Trump on Saturday took aim at Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) appearing to lick his wounds amid a growing list of Party critics by suggesting that his latest detractor from within the Republican Party “doesn’t have what it takes to be great.”
“The least effective of our 53 Republican Senators, and a person who truly doesn’t have what it takes to be great, is Little Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a State which I have gladly done so much to help,” Trump tweeted early Saturday.
“Little Ben is a liability to the Republican Party, and an embarrassment to the Great State of Nebraska,” he added in a second venomous tweet about the GOP senator.
The comments come after the Nebraska lawmaker rebuked President Trump in a telephone town hall with constituents on Wednesday, criticizing the President’s bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic, and tearing into the President’s for “kissing dictators’ butts” while appearing to “flirt with white supremacists.” In audio first obtained from the call by the Washington Examiner, Sasse said that Trump’s behavior had so badly offended voters that he might be the root of a “Republican blood bath” in the Senate.
Sasse is among a group of GOP senators who have begun to distance themselves from the President as his chances of winning November’s election appear to be receding as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden widens his lead in national polls.
While Sasse has periodically critiqued the President and has said he didn’t support Trump’s presidential bid in 2016, he’s been a reliable vote for Trump administration nominees and GOP policies. Sasse has primarily stood with Republican colleagues who have largely avoided publicly challenging President Trump since he took office — a trend that’s changed in recent weeks as a Republican defeat for the White House seems increasingly likely.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested during a committee hearing to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that Democrats have a good chance of winning the White House.
Earlier this week, at least two GOP governors made clear that they wouldn’t support Trump’s reelection bid in November. On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told the Washington Post that he had casted a ballot by mail writing in the name of the late Ronald Reagan for this year’s election. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) offered similar sentiments on Wednesday, suggesting that he wouldn’t vote Trump in the critical final days before the election.
President Trump seemed to acknowledge the possibility of loss during a rally on Friday night telling a crowd in Macon, Georgia, that he might have to “leave the country” if he loses the election.
“Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do? I’m going to say ‘I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics.’ I’m not going to feel so good,” Trump said.
“Maybe I’ll have to leave the country? I don’t know,” he added.