By Paul Gable
An email authored by Wrenzie Rice, wife of Congressman Tom Rice, further complicates Rice’s already tenuous chances for reelection next year.
Responding to an email from a supporter, but reportedly not a constituent, of Rice’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Rice’s email was dated February 8, 2021, nearly one month after her husband’s vote to impeach and after her husband tried to explain away his vote to impeach the president as a vote of conscience and after Tom Rice was formally censured by the SCGOP.
According to a number of sources who received forwarded copies, the email was shared among Republican voters in South Carolina for several months eventually making its way to South Carolina GOP officials.
Nationfile.com broke a story about the email last week including a verbatim transcript of the contents with the name of the recipient redacted. According to that story, Nationalfile.com received a copy of the email from “a senior South Carolina Republican Party official.”
Wrenzie Rice used two references in the email that will not sit well with Republican voters in her husband’s South Carolina 7th Congressional District.
“Tom has not wavered one bit on his vote (to impeach), but the Trump cult runs strong,” Wrenzie Rice wrote. “Sometimes I wonder if this is how Hitler came to power…”
The use of the words “Trump cult” was ill advised. Using the definition of cult as a group that is defined by common interest in a particular personality, it brings to mind Jim Jones and his kool aid drinkers or Charles Manson and his group.
Is cult really the proper term to use to describe a substantial group of voters in the 7th District who have cast ballots for her husband in the past?
Tom Rice said he voted to impeach Trump because “what he (Trump) did in my mind is what dictators do.” Wrenzie Rice added the name “Hitler”, one of the most ruthless and despised dictators in modern history who, among other atrocities, initiated the Holocaust of Europe’s Jewish people and others Hitler described as sub-human.
Any reference linking Trump and Hitler does not play well with the legion of steadfast Trump supporters in the 7th Congressional District and nationwide.
One must question how, after eight years in the Washington political climate, both the congressman and his wife remained so politically unaware of how Rice’s vote to impeach President Trump would alienate so many voters in his district and why both chose to double down on their stance against Trump?
Within days of Rice’s vote to impeach, eight people in the 7th District and one living outside the district, announced they would challenge Rice in next year’s June Republican Primary. One, William Bailey, has since removed himself as a candidate.
Two others, state Rep. Russell Fry and state Sen. Steven Goldfinch, are reportedly still considering whether to challenge Rice. Interestingly, while the initial nine candidates have condemned Rice for his vote to impeach President Trump, neither Fry nor Goldfinch has, to date, made a statement condemning Rice for his vote to impeach.
Speculation remains high on who Trump may consider endorsing in this challenge to Rice. The seven remaining original challengers who live in the district, Ken Richardson, Barbara Arthur, Jeanette Spurlock, Mark McBride, Tom Dunn, Justin Davison and Brandon Cooper have at least some hope of a Trump endorsement.
Graham Allen, the person not living in the district, would seem to be eliminated from consideration since Trump told an Ohio rally last month that he would not endorse any carpetbaggers in a congressional race.
With their continued silence on Rice’s vote to impeach, Fry and Goldfinch would also seem to have no hope of gaining an endorsement from the former president.