U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., looks on after speaking at Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's birthday bash and fundraiser on Nov. 16, 2013, in Altoona, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall/AP

Ryan backs Sasse in Nebraska Sen. race

Updated

Birds of a feather.

Representative Paul Ryan, a consistent advocate against Obamacare, has thrown his support behind a man who maintains that the Affordable Care Act is “worse than you think.” Ryan endorsed Nebraska Republican Senate candidate Ben Sasse on Monday. Sasse is running for the seat left open by retiring Republican Mike Johanns. 

Sasse, the president of Midland University, served as Assistant Secretary of Health under George W. Bush, saying of that time that he learned “a lot about healthcare” and has since “crisscrossed America crusading” against Obamacare. However, the president promised again on Tuesday that the controversial healthcare law isn’t going anywhere: “we’re not repealing it as long as I’m president; we will make it work for all Americans.” 

Both the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) and the Club for Growth have endorsed Sasse, the former calling him a “strong conservative” who’s “not afraid to tackle the tough issues.” But Sasse is not a shoe-in for the GOP nomination come 2014. His opponent, former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn, has also garnered the support of big conservative backers, including FreedomWorks.

And some members of the current GOP establishment aren’t too happy with him either. Sasse has reportedly been the target of criticism from Senate Minority Leader MItch McConnell, who “lit into” the Nebraska candidate for working with the SCF on a viral YouTube advertisement that not-so-subtely condemned the Senate GOP in Washington for lack of leadership – and specifically called out McConnell. McConnell faces not just a competent Democratic challenger in Allison Lundergan-Grimes come 2014, but a Tea Party-backed challenger, Matt Bevin, for the Republican nomination. 

The Nebraska Republican primary will be held Tuesday, May 13th, 2014. As The Fix points out, if the “nasty” back and forth in the 2012 Senate race in this state was any indication, the race for 2014 in the Cornhusker State will be a hot one to watch.

Ryan backs Sasse in Nebraska Sen. race

Updated