Sen. Ben Sasse lambasted nasty rhetoric and partisanship between Republicans and Democrats on Sunday and said he’s considered leaving the Republican Party.
“I probably think about it every morning when I wake up, and I figure out why am I flying away from Nebraska to go to D.C. this week,” said Sasse, who tweeted Saturday that he had considered leaving the GOP. “Are we gonna get real stuff done?”
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, said he considers himself “an independent conservative who caucuses with the Republicans.” Though critical of President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond, he has also supported much of Trump’s agenda.
On Sunday, Sasse complained that neither major party was focused on long-term problems facing the nation such as the future of the economy and warfare, among other issues.
“There’s massive stuff happening America, and these parties are really pretty content to do 24-hour news cycles screaming at each other,” Sasse said. The main thing the Democrats are for is being anti-Republican and anti-Trumpm and the main thing Republicans are for is being anti-Democrat and anti-CNN.”
“Neither of these things are really worth getting out of bed in the morning for. I think we should be talking about where the country’s going to be in 10 years,” he added.
Pressed further by interviewer Jake Tapper, Sasse said Trump “has done some good things.” He cited key nominations, like the choice of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, as well as deregulation as key achievements.
“I’m committed to the party of Lincoln and Reagan as long as there’s a chance to reform it,” he said. “But this party used to be for some pretty definable stuff.”
Pressed by Tapper on whether he would consider a primary challenge to Trump or running for president as an independent candidate in 2020, Sasse cast doubt but didn’t rule out the possibility, saying he was focused on his job in the Senate.