South Carolina’s Tom Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Now, as Rice fights an uphill battle for his political life in the heart of Trump country, he is standing by that choice — calling it “the conservative vote” in an interview with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl that aired Sunday on “This Week.”
“I did it then. And I would do it again tomorrow,” Rice said.
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Rice said Trump deserved to be impeached for potentially endangering former Vice President Mike Pence and his family at the Capitol and not acting more quickly to stop the deadly riot as it unfolded last year.
“When he watched the Capitol, the ‘People’s House,’ being sacked, when he watched the Capitol Police officers being beaten for three or four hours and lifted not one thing or to stop it — I was livid then and I’m livid today about it,” Rice recalled. “And it was very clear to me I took an oath to protect the Constitution.”
Trump has vowed vengeance against Rice, endorsing one of his six primary opponents and holding a rally in his district in March.
“Right here, in the 7th district, Tom Rice, a disaster,” Trump said to boos. “He’s respected by no one, he’s laughed at in Washington.”
A mild-mannered accountant and tax attorney who helped craft the 2017 Republican tax law Trump signed into law, Rice says he voted overwhelmingly in favor of Trump’s agenda in Congress.
“If I am a ‘disaster,’ and a ‘total fool’ and I voted with him 169 times out of 184, what does that make him?” he said to Karl. “I was following his lead.”
“He’s a narcissist, and he’s driven by attention, and he’s driven by revenge,” Rice said of Trump.
He also warned his party against rallying around the former president if Trump seeks the Oval Office again, as Trump has often hinted.