At first glance, Ben Sasse of Nebraska looks like the average Republican candidate.
Like nearly every other GOP politician, the former Bush administration official, who is running for the U.S. Senate this year, praises family values and decries Obamacare. One of his newest proposals, however, is a bit out of step with the GOP platform: Sasse wants to relocate the United States capital to Nebraska.
“Let's move the capital to Nebraska and leave the lobbyists and influence peddlers back east,”” Sasse said in a promo film released over the weekend.
A 30-second ad featuring the same phrase was also aired during an NFL playoff game in Nebraska, complete with a computer-generated image of the U.S. Capitol building being constructed on a scenic Nebraska field.
“That’s it, the way to cure the incredible ineffectiveness and dysfunction of both parties in Washington — we move the Capitol to Nebraska, where they can experience family, conservative values, living within a budget, and pulling together, not pulling apart,” Sasse says at another point in the promo.
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Speaking to the Washington Times, Sasse acknowledged that his idea to relocate the capital is more than a little far-fetched, calling his suggestion as somewhat of a “thought experiment” about the growth of federal intervention since the nation was founded.
“I think that they, Nebraska workaday folks, think that we’re on the precipice of national decline and they don’t think Washington gets it at all,” Sasse told the conservative newspaper.
Sasse, who will face rivals Sid Dinsdale and Shane Osborn in the Republican primary, raised a record amount of money from individual donors based largely on his opposition to Obamacare, taking in just under $815,000 by October 2013, Omaha.com reports. They are running for the seat of Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., who is retiring after one term. Nebraska is one of the most Republican states in the country, and the winner of the primary will be favored in November.
"Look, Obamacare is arguably the worst law in our history,” Sasse said in the promo video. “But it's been four years since it's been passed and Republicans still haven't offered an alternative. Of course we need to repeal it, but we also need to tell people what we'll do next. We need to show Americans that we're the party of conservative solutions. That's the only way to win."