Republican Rep. Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceThe Hill’s Morning Report – Russia aggression triggers US, EU sanctions Republicans spurned by Trump in primaries still embrace him Trump endorses GOP challenger to South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice MORE (SC) slammed forms President TrumpDonald TrumpTop Hispanic lawmaker urges Biden to expedite reunification of Ukrainians in US Democrats plot strategy to defy expectations, limit midterm losses Overnight Health Care – Texas abortion providers dealt critical blow MORE in a statement on Saturday following the former president’s rally in South Carolina, calling him “a would-be tyrant.”
At the rally, Trump said Rice is a “disaster” and “total fool” and criticized the congressman for voting to impeach him following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Rice was one of 10 GOP House members to vote for impeachment at the time.
Rice’s primary opponent, South Carolina state Rep. Russell Fry (R), who was endorsed by Trump last month, also spoke at the event.
In a statement following the rally, Rice hit back at Trump, saying the former president was in South Carolina “because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he was consumed by spite,” according to local CBS affiliate WBTW.
“I took one vote he did not like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says, no matter what,” Rice said.
Further criticizing Fry, Rice also reiterated his opposition to the Jan. 6 attack and to Trump.
“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, ”Rice said in his statement.
“If you want a Congressman who covers 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,” he continued.
Trump won the district Rice represents by an 18-point margin in 2020, but Rice won reelection that year by a still higher margin of nearly 24 points.
The Hill has reached out to Rice’s office for comment.