Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC7) is sinking deeper into a quagmire of his own making as he attempts to explain his way around his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Since voting to impeach Trump a month ago, Rice has been subjected to a continuous stream of criticism from voters in his Congressional District and suffered censure from the state Republican Executive Committee.
Even supposed allies of Rice such as state representatives Russell Fry and Heather Ammons Crawford, who never missed a photo opportunity with Rice in the past, have failed to offer support of Rice when given the opportunity by local media. Likewise, neither has come out with condemnation of Rice’s vote putting them at odds with most other members of the Republican Party as they attempt to hold firmly to the position of ‘fence sitters.’
Fry is reportedly considering a challenge to Rice in the 2022 Republican Primary for the nomination for the 7th Congressional seat. If he decides to challenge Rice, Fry is going to have to get off that fence.
In the month since his impeachment vote, Rice and his advisers have tried to tamp down criticism of his action. But they don’t seem they understand the local sentiment.
In his statements to media and votes in Congress Rice has flip-flopped on the impeachment question. Rice told local and national media that, in the days following the January 6th Capitol insurrection, the more he learned, the more upset he became with Trump’s actions before and during the insurrection.
However, on January 11th Rice issued a statement to local media outlets saying he did not support impeachment of Trump. On January 12th, Rice voted against two resolutions in the House, one calling for using the 25th Amendment to temporarily suspend Trump from the presidency and the other a procedural resolution to bring the resolution of impeachment to the House floor.
Less than 24 hours after voting against bringing the impeachment resolution to the House for a vote, Rice voted for the resolution to impeach the president. What really caused this 180 degree turn in Rice’s actions?