Sasse: Gianforte doesn’t understand First Amendment

Greg Gianforte doesn’t get the basics of America or public service, Sen. Ben Sasse said Thursday.

“If you’re seeking a job as a public servant, if you’re going to serve in the Congress, one of the core obligations before you is to teach American civics. And if you’re teaching American civics, you celebrate a First Amendment, a free press, speech, assembly, religion,” Sasse said Thursday in a detailed and frank interview for POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast scheduled to be released on Tuesday about America, Peter Pan, the failings of Congress and of the Republican Party, and President Donald Trump.

[Subscribe to the podcast here.]

Sasse, the junior senator from Nebraska and a staunch conservative, is a former college president who’s promoting his new book, “The Vanishing American Adult,” which amounts to a diagnosis of the rot within American culture and what to do about it.

The Republican nominee in Thursday’s special election for Montana’s House seat, now charged with misdemeanor assault for attacking reporter Ben Jacobs at an event on Wednesday night, didn’t strike Sasse as part of the solution.

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means you don’t body slam a reporter. It means that regardless of whether or not you think in a given situation reporter X, Y or Z in town hall A, B or C is annoying,” Sasse said, “you pause and you celebrate the First Amendment.”

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