- Rep. Tom Rice said he regretted voting against certifying the 2020 presidential-election results.
- He said Trump was a “coward” who “did nothing to stop” the Capitol riot and watched it “with pride.”
- Rice was among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection.
Republican Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina said in an interview on Wednesday that he regretted voting against certifying the electoral votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania after the January 6 storming of the Capitol.
“In retrospect I should have voted to certify,” Rice told Politico’s Olivia Beavers. “Because President Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol.”
According to Politico, this makes him the first of the 147 House Republicans who voted against certifying the election results to publicly express regret over the vote.
Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection. He was the only one in that group of GOP lawmakers who also voted against certifying the election results.
“He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences. Yesterday in a press briefing at the border, he said his comments were ‘perfectly appropriate,'” Rice said in a statement at the time about his vote to impeach Trump. “I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable.”
Rice has defended his vote in the months since the attack on the Capitol, comparing Trump to a dictator in a June interview.
“If the president, by force, can intimidate Congress into voting their way, then we might as well do away with Congress and hand it over to a king,” Rice told The Washington Post. “What he did, in my mind, is what dictators do.”
Rice told Politico that while he thought there were “real issues with the election,” he came to change his mind about how he should vote after a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol. Still, Rice added, he needed to keep his word to voters.
“In the wee hours of that disgraceful night, while waiting for the Capitol of our great country to be secured, I knew I should vote to certify,” Rice said. “But because I had made a public announcement of my intent to object, I did not want to go back on my word. So yeah, I regret my vote to object.”
Rice added that Trump watched the January 6 storming of the Capitol “with pride” and “did nothing to stop it.” He said the House was “sacked and defaced.”
“There was a coward in that equation,” Rice said, alluding to the president’s tweet on January 6 that said Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” because the vice president didn’t try to overturn the election results as a mob of Trump’s supporters entered the building.
“But it wasn’t Mike Pence,” Rice said.