He was a surprise vote to impeach Donald Trump after the January 6 insurrection. All of the other Republicans voting for impeachment were moderates or like Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaking to the national issue in a futile attempt to save her party. The conservative Representative Tom Rice (R-SC) was just trying to do his job, and he paid dearly for it.
Rice told The Washington Post he “took an oath:”
‘ It was very clear to me, I took an oath to defend the Constitution. I didn’t take an oath to defend Donald Trump. What he did was a frontal assault on the Constitution.’
Then, he changed the subject:
‘What do you call somebody who votes with Trump 99 percent of the time? A traitor?’
Rice played the video of attorney L. Lin Wood telling supporters that the military could still call on Trump “for the code if they need a first strike,” because he is still president:
‘That stuff is insanity. That’s just crazy as hell. Once the vote to certify is done, that is it. It’s over. The election is over. Joe Biden won, period. That’s it. There is no constitutional mechanism to say, “Oh, we’re going to reinstate a president.”‘
Rice called Trump a “bully:”
‘If you want a congressman who’s going to choose a personality over the Constitution, I’m not your guy.’
The South Carolinian representative decided when he saw that Vice President Mike Pence did not have “the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution:”
‘To me, that is completely despicable, and I will vote that way every single time. For him to be calling Mike Pence a coward and him sitting at the White House surrounded by Secret Service and tweeting while Mike Pence is in the middle of all that, and he’s a coward? Give me a break.’
‘If the president, by force, can intimidate Congress into voting their way, then we might as well do away with Congress and hand it over to a king. What he did in my mind is what dictators do.’
The representative pointed to the 2017 tax cuts he helped build as a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He claimed that effort drove down unemployment in his district:
‘A lot of people call it the Trump tax cut. But I liked his policies because they were my policies before he even came along. They’ll be my policies long after he’s gone.’
Shortly after he voted to impeach Trump, he raced to catch a flight back to Myrtle Beach. But he got a call saying he had “hit the wrong button.” He corrected the staffer:
‘I didn’t get to the bottom of the steps before Scalise called me and he said, “Tom, you hit the wrong button’ and I said, ‘No, it was the right vote.” Then he said, “You sure?” And I said, “Absolutely.” I think a lot of people were surprised.’
Rice has been fine with his vote and argued that the former president should “focus on the conservative policies he put in place, not the election:”
‘I mean he’s got an awful lot he can be proud of. But with his flailing at this point, he’s hurting the country and he’s destroying — if he hadn’t already destroyed — his legacy.’
The South Carolinian legislator also voted for the Special Commission to investigate January 6, according to WBTW.
Then, he said he was proud of his own legacy, regardless of whether that vote to impeach cost him in the 2022 election:
‘If I was going to put myself over doing what’s right, the easiest thing to do would’ve been to vote no. Had I voted no, nobody would have ever said one word, but it was the wrong way. If it cost me the job, then it cost me the job. I hope it doesn’t.’
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.