Senator slammed for 'looking a mess,' questionable comments in commencement speech

A Nebraska senator has been widely criticized

for making eyebrow-raising comments during

a high school commencement speech.

On May 16, Fremont High School hosted a virtual graduation

ceremony for its class of 2020. Among the speakers was

Sen. Ben Sasse, who graduated from the school in 1990.

In an approximately 8-minute speech, an unshaven

Sasse begins his speech by seemingly offering his heartfelt congratulations to the graduating class and their families .

“Congratulations, parents, teachers and coaches —

not that there’s any meaningful distinction among

those categories anymore at this point".

before suggesting that China

was responsible for the global

lockdown and current health crisis.

“If you’re a parent, you’re a teacher.

Thanks a lot, China. We’re all teachers now".

Sasse then rambles a bit before

claiming that the newly minted high

school graduates are not physically fit.

"If you don’t get that joke, talk to your

mom and dad back in the day when we

were a lot fitter than you people are".

The senator then circles back

to China, suggesting that Fremont

graduates will remember their ceremony .

because China “started a big, global pandemic that

created the worst public health crisis in over a

century and brought the economy to its knees".

The commencement speech, which was circulated on

YouTube, drew condemnation from Nebraska State

Sen. Adam. Morfeld, who mocked Sasse on Twitter.

Nebraska Democratic Party

Chair Jane Kleeb also chimed in.

she wrote on Twitter, “Graduating high school is

a memory our kids and families cherish and [Ben

Sasse] decided to use the moment to practice ‘jokes'”.

In response to the backlash, a spokesperson

for Sasse’s office hit back, “Pretending

graduates are too fragile to hear the truth is silly”