Brought on the January 27 edition of MTP Daily to discuss the critical questions he's posed of Donald Trump via Twitter, freshman U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) rebuked the media for not vetting Donald Trump to expose his anti-conservative, anti-constitutionalist positions on the issues:
This is a guy who said "I hate the concept of guns." This is a guy who says he's for single-payer health care in the past. This is a guy who says he's for a $6-trillion tax increase, it would be the largest tax increase in U.S. history, and he doesn't get many hard questions right now. The media failed to vet President Obama in 2008, and right now I don't think the people in your profession are doing a very good job of asking Trump real questions.
Moments later Sasse allowed that, in his judgment, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd had personally asked Trump some tough, fair questions, but that overall the media were milking Trump for ratings without any concern about helping primary voters get to the core of the man's political substance, particularly on constitutional questions.
Below is the relevant transcript. [Please note that unfortunately our DVR recording cut off for two minutes and left me unable to transcribe the entire interview. Fortunately the dig at the media occurred before the DVR went hinky]:
January 27, 2016; 5:07 p.m. Eastern
CHUCK TODD: So Donald Trump's soft acceptance in the establishment is not universal. Freshman Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska is in Iowa tonight, and he's already hit the stump with Ted Cruz. He'll be joining Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina at events later tonight. And Sen. Sasse joins me now.
TODD: Let me start with, you decided to go out on your own and campaign against a candidate and not for one. Why not, if you're going to be against Trump, why not pick a candidate that you would prefer over him?
Sen. BEN SASSE (R-Nebraska): Listen, what I'm for is the Constitution. And if being for the Constitution makes me against Mr. Trump, that's Mr. Trump's problem. We are blessed to have lots of good candidates on the Republican side who believe in the Constitution, but we already have one post-constitutional party in America. We don't need a second one. So, I'm here to talk about the Constitution and the things I hope voters in Iowa will be considering on Monday night.
TODD: But, it's interesting, you're basically pulling a fire alarm. You're that concerned about Trump representing the Republican Party.
SASSE: Listen, I don't think that people think know what Mr. Trump stands for.
He's doing a lot of things very, very well. Washington, D.C., is a terribly broken place. I've never been in politics before. I was a college president until I ran for the U.S. Senate last year, and I ran because I'm worried about the future of the country we're living to our kids and grandkids.
And all across my state and all across the country I hear a lot of people saying, Washington is leading us the wrong way. Somebody needs to pull a fire alarm about that. And Mr. Trump is doing a nice job of articulating that critique.
That's different than knowing what he's for. If you actually look at his record, this is a guy who said, I hate the concept of guns. This is a guy who says he's for single-payer health care in the past. This is a guy who says he's for a $6-trillion tax increase, would be the largest tax increase in U.S. history.
And he doesn't get many hard questions right now. The media failed to vet President Obama in 2008 and right now I don't think the people in your profession are doing a very good job of asking Trump real questions. And the people in my town at the grocery store, what they're worried about – I know, Chuck, there are times when you've taken him on – but by and large, Mr. Trump is a guy who is articulate, he's entertaining, he'd be a great guy to have a beer with, but most people who take him on TV every day, they like him on there for the entertainment value...