- Rep. Tom Rice said he has no regrets voting to impeach former President Trump on Jan. 6.
- “I did it then, and I would do it again tomorrow,” he told ABC News journalist Jonathan Karl.
- The congressman also introduced Liz Cheney as a potential speaker of the House of Representatives, calling her “fearless.”
Republican Rep. Tom Rice argued in a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday that impeachment of former President Donald Trump over his role in the Capitol riots was the “conservative vote,” and said he would “do it again tomorrow.” would”.
During a conversation With ABC News’ Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl, the South Carolina lawmaker — who was one of 10 Republicans who impeached Trump over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots — said in “This Week,” that his vote was cast in compliance with the Constitution.
“Defending the Constitution is a bedrock of the Republican platform, defend the Constitution, and I’ve done it. That was the conservative vote. I have no question,” he said.
Rice disapproved of Trump’s behavior on Jan. 6 – citing the former president’s response to the escalating violence in the Capitol.
“I knew what I had to do,” the congressman told Karl. “I’m angry about it. I took an oath to protect the Constitution.”
He emphasized: “I did it then and I would do it again tomorrow.”
Rice, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, is running for re-election this year and faces several major challenges in the upcoming June 14 contest.
Trump has endorsed State Assemblyman Russell Fry in the running, and during a recent state appearance, former President Rice lashed out as a “total fool.”
The congressman hit back at such a claim, noting that his conservative voting record aligned with the former president’s priorities.
“If I’m a disaster and a total jerk and voted with him 169 times, then what makes him up?” he said. “I mean – I’ll take his lead. But I said at the time he’s a narcissist, and he’s driven by attention and revenge.”
Despite the friction between Rice and Trump, the South Carolinian said he’s ready to back Trump for president again — but only if he apologizes for his role on Jan. 6.
“If he came out and said, ‘I’m sorry I made a big mistake on January 6,'” the congressman said, “then I could think about it.”
During the interview, Rice also dodged whether he would support California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to become Speaker of the House when the Republicans regain control of the House this fall, but didn’t hesitate to back Republican Rep. Liz Cheney Supporting Wyoming — and Trump’s nemesis — for the role.
“I think she would be a great speaker,” said the congressman said. “I think she’s a real Republican, I think she’s very conservative, and I think she’s a fearless leader.”
Last week, former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — who said more Republicans voted for Trump’s second impeachment but “didn’t have the guts” — traveled to South Carolina to campaign for Rice ahead of the primary.