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It is unlikely that U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) will receive an invitation to Mar-a-Lago anytime soon after he described “spiteful” former President Donald Trump as a “would-be tyrant.” Rice probably wasn’t going to get one anyway after his primary opponent received the coveted Trump endorsement, plus all that preceded it.
Rice was apparently reacting to Trump’s remarks at the Florence, S.C., rally, in Rice’s solid red congressional district, which took place on Saturday evening.
During his wide-ranging speech, Trump described Rice as “a disaster” and someone who is “laughed at in Washington,” and reminded the crowd that he was censured by the South Carolina GOP for voting for impeachment 2.0.
Rice was of just 10 U.S. House Republicans who joined with Democrats in the impeachment vote. He, along with 34 other Republican lawmakers, also voted to establish what has turned out to be the partisan J6 committee.
Trump has endorsed state Rep. Russell (“Fry the Rice”) Fry, Rice’s primary challenger in the seventh congressional district. The South Carolina GOP primary is scheduled for June 14, 2022.
Trump taking aim at Tom Rice pic.twitter.com/VJ9bFsJq69
— Nick Reagan (@NickReaganLive5) March 13, 2022
Rice issued the following statement shortly after the rally, CBS affiliate WBTW reported:
“Trump is here because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he is consumed by spite. I took one vote he didn’t like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says, no matter what.
“If you want a Congressman who supports political violence in Ukraine or in the United States Capitol, who supports party over country, who supports a would-be tyrant over the Constitution, and who makes decisions based solely on re-election, then Russell Fry is your candidate. If you want a Congressman who cowers to no man, who votes for what is right, even when it’s hard, and who has fought like hell for the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, then I hope to earn your vote.”
In the run-up to the rally, Trump described Rice as someone who “doesn’t have a clue,” in a statement shared on Twitter via the Save America political action committee.
In the message, the ex-POTUS also castigated U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace as “absolutely horrendous.” At the rally, he doubled down by describing “crazy” Mace, a Republican who represents the first congressional district in the state, as a “horrendous RINO.”
President Donald J. Trump:
“Big rally in South Carolina this weekend. Will be honoring Katie Arrington, who is running against the absolutely horrendous Nancy Mace, and Russell Fry, who is likewise running against “doesn’t have a clue” Tom Rice… pic.twitter.com/DbmXVMD4UG
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) March 11, 2022
Trump alluded to both Rice and Mace as “grandstanding losers.”
At the Save America rally, Trump called out Mace for “begging for his endorsement” in 2020 as an America First candidate. “Instead, the first thing Nancy Mace did when she got to Washington was start attacking Republicans and hold a fundraiser for wacky Liz Cheney,” he said.
Trump reportedly also declared in his typically unfiltered dissertation that RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) “as bad as the Democrats and sometimes worse.”
Mace has blamed Trump for the trespassers who stormed of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Mace was one of nine Republicans that voted with Democrats to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress when he defied a J6 committee subpoena.
Trump has endorsed Katie Arrington for the seat. After ousting incumbent Never Trumper Mark Sanford in the primary, Arrington narrowly lost to Democrat Joe Cunningham in the usually solidly red Charleston-area congressional district in 2018 after a serious car crash took her off the campaign trail.
Mace defeated Cunningham in a similarly close contest in 2020.
During his Florence oration, Trump also mocked Mace for filming what amounted to a selfie campaign commercial in front Trump Tower in NYC shortly after he endorsed Arrington.
Nancy Mace’s video in front Trump Tower backfires as Trump bashes her for making it pic.twitter.com/DeLMnx9uoq
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 13, 2022
‘I’m gonna win without him’: Nancy Mace defiantly embraces Trump’s policies as he backs her opponent https://t.co/WXf0Ih7Jn2
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 21, 2022
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