Sen. Ben Sasse said Reps. Matt Gaetz, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Marjorie Taylor Greene aren’t ‘serious adults’


Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska during a Senate Finance Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill on February 24, 2021.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska during a Senate Finance Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill on February 24, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

  • Sen. Ben Sasse said he’s tired of getting asked about statements by other members of Congress.

  • “I don’t give a shit,” Sasse said. “In a republic, nobody should care about that.”

  • Sasse said Reps. Matt Gaetz, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene aren’t “serious adults.”

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska offered some choice words for both the Capitol hill press corps and controversial House members, including two from his own party, in a conversation with The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg on Wednesday.

Sasse spoke broadly about the harms of being too obsessed with politics and how the digital age affects political engagement, and also recounted an interaction with a reporter at the US Capitol that he believes illustrates the problem.

“I had a reporter shove her iPhone into my ribcage in early August on Capitol Hill saying, ‘You’ve been ducking us all, Ben!'” he began, before claiming that his congressional office is quick to respond to media requests.

“Tell me more, what am I ducking you on?” Sasse said he asked the reporter.

“We want to know: what do you think about what Matt Gaetz said, about what AOC said, about what Marjorie Taylor Greene did,” Sasse said the reporter asked, referring to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as well as the two far-right House Republicans.

“And I don’t give a shit. Like the – in a republic, nobody should care about that. You just named three people who aren’t serious adults,” Sasse said.

“They don’t actually have an agenda for 2030 America, and the reason I ran for re-election is because I’m worried about the future of work, the future of war, the first amendment culture in a world that moves to primarily digital rather than in-person public squares,” he added.

This is not the first time the Nebraska Republican has called out members of his own party. In an interview with POLITICO in February, Sasse said that Gaetz was “not an adult,” and that he wanted to help recruit “candidates that want to do something more than Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

Sasse also wrote an op-ed for The Atlantic in January where he said Greene was “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” and said that House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “failed the leadership test” by welcoming her into the caucus.

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