Government

After losing bet, Nebraska senator drives Uber in Iowa City

Ben Sasse bet months ago that Cornhuskers would defeat Hawkeyes

Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

A bet gone bad will put U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska behind the wheel of an Uber this weekend in Iowa City.

Nearly eight months ago, the Republican senator made a bet with an executive of a Virginia-based conservative news website that the Nebraska Cornhuskers would defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes when they met at Kinnick Stadium. The bet was that the loser would drive Uber on the winning team’s campus — while wearing gear representing that team.

The Cornhuskers lost that Nov. 25, 2016, game badly, 40-10. And with it, Sasse lost the bet.

Sasse is scheduled to be the keynote speaker Friday night at a Story County Republican Party dinner in Nevada, Iowa. But Sasse told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview Sunday the rest of the story behind his trip.

“Well, first of all, let’s be clear why I’m going to be in Iowa this weekend.” he said. “I don’t want to admit it anywhere, let alone on national TV, but Nebraska lost to Iowa last year in a football game, and I lost a bet. So I have to drive Uber in Iowa next weekend. So that’s the reason I’m going to be in Iowa. It’s about Hawkeyes and Huskers bloodletting on the football field and the aftermath of that.”

Sasse made the bet with Independent Journal Review executive Benny Johnson — a University of Iowa psychology graduate.

Sasse, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, was called out at a June 21 rally for Trump in Cedar Rapids and told to stay on his side of the river.

“We’ve got ‘Never Trumpers’ out there,” complained Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, a warm-up speaker at the rally. “You know what? I’m getting just a little tired of that, too. We had Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska. He crosses the Missouri River and in that sanctimonious tone talks about what he doesn’t like about Donald Trump. You know what, Sen. Sasse? I really don’t care what you like. We love Donald Trump. And if you don’t love him, I suggest you stay on your side of the Missouri River.”

Tapper played a video clip of that speech to get the senator’s reaction.

“I don’t know who that guy is in your segment,” Sasse replied.

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