Election 2020

GOP Senator Becomes First to Vow No Trump Vote

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Nov. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

A Nebraska freshman who was already campaigning against Donald Trump not surprisingly came out and officially said he will not vote for the real-estate mogul if he’s the GOP nominee.

But another senator facing a tough re-election campaign that could turn a GOP seat blue also slammed Trump today, telling a radio show he’s “praying” for a different presidential nominee.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who was elected to Congress with the help of conservatives such as Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Trump supporter Sarah Palin and talk show host Mark Levin, has not endorsed any candidate, but campaigned against Trump with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in Iowa.

On Sunday, Sasse posted a lengthy Facebook open letter to Trump supporters.

“I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are about what’s happening to our country. But I cannot support Donald Trump,” Sasse wrote. “Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.”

“Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. Much like President Obama, he displays essentially no understanding of the fact that, in the American system, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances, with three separate but co-equal branches of government. And the task of public officials is to be public ‘servants,'” the senator continued. “The law is king, and the people are boss. But have you noticed how Mr. Trump uses the word ‘Reign’ – like he thinks he’s running for King? It’s creepy, actually. Nebraskans are not looking for a king. We yearn instead for the recovery of a Constitutional Republic.”

Sasse stressed that he was “not born Republican” but “chose this party, for as long as it is useful.”

“If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed,” he argued.

In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is behind in the polls against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). Johnson defeated incumbent Feingold in 2010.

Asked about Trump’s comments on David Duke and the KKK, Johnson told the Charlie Sykes Show today that he’s “happy” to condemn white supremacist groups and goes to bed “every night praying that our nominee is a person of integrity, intelligence, ideas, and courage.”

“This nation hungers for someone who can lead this nation, not be divisive,” he said.

But when asked directly if he would not vote for a GOP nominee Trump, Johnson reiterated he’s “praying, let’s see how the process plays out.”

“Charlie, we have such enormous problems facing this nation,” he added. “I don’t like demagoguery on any side of the political spectrum and we have it across the political spectrum.”