Ex-Fox host may launch primary bid against SC GOP incumbent who voted for impeachment

Former Fox News host Eric Bolling is said to be in early talks regarding a potential congressional run against a South Carolina Republican who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in January.

According to people familiar with the talks, it’s not clear where Bolling would run. However, Politico reported, he could be considering a primary bid against Rep. Tom Rice, one of a handful of Republicans who voted for impeachment in January following the Capitol riot.

For his part, Bolling refused to comment publicly, noting only that he loves his adopted home state.

“I absolutely love living in South Carolina and taking time to listen to voters (and viewers), and what I hear is total frustration with President Biden’s aggressive progressive agenda. South Carolina is conservative, and South Carolinians deserve conservative representation in D.C.,” he said, according to Politico.

Bolling could also consider a primary run against freshman Rep. Nancy Mace, who did not vote to impeach the former president. However, she did blame him for the riot and said in mid-January that more Republicans would have voted with Democrats to impeach if they had not rushed the process.

“No matter even if you think the president is guilty as hell, like many—many do believe there has to be due process, there has to be an investigation, we have to go even if it’s through special committee work or judiciary,” she told Meet the Press. “Those things needed to happen in order for impeachment really. I think you would have gotten more Republicans on board if it were done with due process and with an investigation.”

“We do need to find a way to hold the president accountable, and we’re doing that in the press,” Mace added. 

Also, a day after the riot, she told The State newspaper that she no longer believed in Trump.

Nevertheless, it’s Rice who has landed in Trump’s crosshairs, most likely. Reports have said the former president is amassing a campaign war chest via his new PAC and will use it, along with his considerable clout within the GOP rank-and-file, to primary Republicans who voted to impeach him as well as those seen as more beholden to the political establishment in Washington.

Rice is likely to face a number of primary challengers, Politico said, including state Rep. William Bailey and Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson.

And Bolling, who resides in Charleston, has long been a friend of Trump, meaning he could very likely draw his support should he decide to throw his hat into the ring. He interviewed Trump several times during his presidency and held a town hall-style event for him shortly before the Nov. 3 election.

Bolling, a former Wall Street trader-turned-conservative broadcaster and pundit, moved to South Carolina a number of years ago in advance of a potential primary against Sen. Lindsey Graham, but ultimately chose not to do so.

Most recently, Bolling has been co-hosting a podcast with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre after Sinclair Broadcasting canceled his weekly program in January.

Bolling, 58, left Fox News in Sept. 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment, though he has discounted them.

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Jon Dougherty

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