Incoming UF President Ben Sasse knows Donald Trump criticism shapes Senate legacy
Ben Sasse gets a special welcome present — a new pool. Image via AP.

'I'm just sad for him as a human....'

Nebraska’s outgoing U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse knows he may be remembered more for his criticisms of former President Donald Trump than for the policies he supported during his eight years in office.

Sasse talked about his political legacy with the Omaha World-Herald as he prepared to leave the Senate Sunday to become president of the University of Florida.

Sasse was a prominent Trump critic who joined with a handful of other Republicans to vote to convict the former president at his impeachment trial after the 2021 Capitol riot. Those criticisms led to Sasse being sharply criticized by his own political party in Nebraska even though Sasse voted with Trump 85% of the time and helped get his three U.S. Supreme Court nominees confirmed.

Sasse acknowledged that his complicated relationship with Trump will shape his legacy.

“I’m just sad for him as a human because obviously there’s a lot of complicated stuff going on in that soul,” Sasse said to the newspaper. “Just at a human level, I’m sad for him to be that needy and desperate. But at a policy level, I always loved that he kept his word on the judges. … And so we got to work closely on judges.”

Sasse said he is especially proud of his work with the Senate Intelligence committee that included setting up a commission on cybersecurity. He said 120 of that group’s 190 recommendations have been passed into law.

The University of Florida job will allow Sasse — who studied American history at Harvard, Yale and Oxford — to return to academia at a much bigger institution. Before he was elected to the Senate, Sasse led the small, private Midland University in his hometown of Fremont, Nebraska.

Sasse said he couldn’t resist the chance to lead one of the nation’s largest public universities even after rejecting overtures from other universities in recent years.

“South Florida is like a giant blank canvas,” Sasse said. “And so I’m very excited about a lot of the new stuff that we’re going to build.”

Newly elected Gov. Jim Pillen will name Sasse’s replacement, and the leading candidate for the job is former Gov. Pete Ricketts who Pillen replaced this month after term limits kept the Republican from running again.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Elliott Offen

    January 8, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    Everything Trump touched turned to ashes. He rotted the minds of millions, turned people into liars and savages, and he grifted people to a husk. He should be executed.

    • Always there

      January 8, 2023 at 4:02 pm

      He didnt rot the minds of millions.
      He made the savages that liked him show that under all those clothes they were always animals lol

    • Boaz

      January 12, 2023 at 11:01 pm

      Executed? Wow! Tell us how you really feel. No, please don’t. “Thinking aloud is a habit which is responsible for most of mankind’s misery.”
      ‐ Benjamin Franklin

  • Overcook

    January 8, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    “I’m just sad for him as a human”

    This guy still thinks he’s a human.
    I hope the students at the school hes in roast him like a pork sausage. Lol

  • Ocean Joe

    January 8, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    “South Florida is a giant, blank canvas…”
    Did he look at a map before he took the job, or is UF going to relocate? Is something missing?

    Sasse will be remembered as being very outspoken, sounding principled…and then voting like a party hack on every single issue.

    • Rebecca

      January 9, 2023 at 8:20 am

      “South Florida.” Open mouth, insert foot. Why is he confused?

  • First day

    January 8, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Hope they glue his door locks on his first day.

  • Ronald Crump

    January 8, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    Whats even worse this Sasse dude has the nerve to identify as a man. Lets all clutch our pearls and wad up our panties for crack insertitation in a big woke state-wide unison. That will teach them.

  • Lex Taylor

    January 9, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    I just wish we could go back to a time where people could respectfully disagree about politics or other things. We use so much hyperbole in our political parlance that we forget that the person on the other side also wants the best for the country, and they have a different point of view, not an evil point of view. We should not dehumanize our political adversaries.

    • Boaz

      January 12, 2023 at 10:52 pm


  • Boaz

    January 12, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    Long ago, the State of Florida named a public university in Tampa the University of South Florida, albeit the university is not located in south Florida. Confusion seems to be a universal trait for politicians. That said, go Bulls!

Comments are closed.


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