Another Republican Congressman Publicly Ditches Donald Trump

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Although former President Donald Trump continues to maintain control of much of the Republican Party, he doesn’t have all of it. After a rally in South Carolina this weekend where he criticized Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) in connection to the South Carolina Republican’s support of impeaching Trump after last year’s Capitol riot, Rice went after Trump as a “would-be tyrant” and criticized the Trump-endorsed Republican primary opponent who he is facing in the race for his House seat. Rice said:

‘Trump is here because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he is consumed by spite… I took one vote he didn’t like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says, no matter what… If you want a Congressman who supports political violence in Ukraine or in the United States Capitol, who supports party over country, who supports a would-be tyrant over the Constitution, and who makes decisions based solely on re-election, then Russell Fry is your candidate… If you want a Congressman who cowers to no man, who votes for what is right, even when it’s hard, and who has fought like hell for the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, then I hope to earn your vote.’

Fry is the Republican who Trump has endorsed in the primary contest for Rice’s current spot in Congress; currently, he’s a state Representative in South Carolina. Rice has also stated, notably, that he regrets voting against certifying all of Joe Biden’s electoral votes after the last election. As Rice explained his position, “In retrospect I should have voted to certify… Because President Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol… In the wee hours of that disgraceful night, while waiting for the Capitol of our great country to be secured, I knew I should vote to certify. But because I had made a public announcement of my intent to object, I did not want to go back on my word. So yeah, I regret my vote to object.” He appears to be the only Republican to vote against certifying the entirety of Biden’s win who’s expressed remorse over the vote, although on a related note, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) recently said he regrets voting against Trump’s first impeachment. Those first impeachment proceedings hinged on Trump and his team withholding military assistance for Ukraine while pushing the country’s leaders to undertake investigations that could help Trump.

As Kinzinger outlined it, “I want to be honest, in congress I have only a few votes that in hindsight, I regret. My biggest regret was voting against the first impeachment of Donald Trump. It’s important for political leaders to be transparent and admit regret when needed. The bottom line, Donald Trump withheld lethal aid to Ukraine so he could use it as leverage for his campaign. This is a shameful and illegal act, directly hurting the Ukraine defense today…”.

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