Tom Rice says Trump ‘not the future of the Republican Party’ as voters head to polls
Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) said on Tuesday while voters were heading to the polls for South Carolina’s primary that former President Trump is “not the future of the Republican Party.”
During an interview, NBC News correspondent Vaughn Hillyard asked the South Carolina Republican — one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump — why he has “held the line” on the former president despite the fact that it might not be politically advantageous to him.
“Oh, I think it’s advantageous to me politically. I think I’m just telling the truth,” Rice countered. “You know, the truth will set you free. And I think that Donald Trump is not the future of the Republican Party. I think, you know, he was a consequential president, and we accomplished things that lifted all people up while he was president.”
“But I think he is the past, and we need to move on.”
Rice argued that his vote to impeach Trump was the “conservative vote,” saying conservatives’ “first job” was protecting the Constitution.
The House Republican’s remarks come as voters will decide Tuesday whether to oust him in the GOP primary. His seat is 26 points more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole, according to political statistics site 538, meaning that whoever wins the primary is very likely to win in the November midterms.
Rice drew Trump’s ire after he voted in favor of impeaching the former president after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and tried to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results.
Since then, Trump has endorsed South Carolina state Rep. Russell Fry (R) in his bid for Rice’s seat.
Rice, however, has said that he would consider endorsing Trump again if he apologized for what happened on Jan. 6, 2021.
“If he came out and said I’m sorry, that I made a huge mistake on Jan. 6, then I might consider it,” Rice said in an interview aired on ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday.
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