GOP Rep. Tom Rice, who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol riot, said he 'would do it again tomorrow'

GOP Rep. Tom Rice, who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol riot, said he 'would do it again tomorrow'
Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
  • Rep. Tom Rice said he didn't regret his vote to impeach former President Trump over January 6.
  • "I did it then, and I would do it again tomorrow," he told ABC News journalist Jonathan Karl.

Republican Rep. Tom Rice in a wide-ranging interview that aired on Sunday argued that impeaching former President Donald Trump for his role in the Capitol riot was the "conservative vote" and said that he "would do it again tomorrow."

During a talk with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week," the South Carolina lawmaker — who was one of ten Republicans to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol — said that his vote was made in adherence to the Constitution.

"Defending the Constitution is a bedrock of the Republican platform, defend the Constitution, and that's what I did. That was the conservative vote. There's no question in my mind," he said.

Rice spoke disapprovingly of Trump's conduct on January 6 — pointing to the former president's response to the escalating violence at the Capitol.

"It was clear to me what I had to do," the congressman told Karl. "I am livid about it. I took an oath to protect the Constitution."


He emphasized: "I did it then, and I would do it again tomorrow."

Rice, who was first elected to the House in 2012, filed for reelection this year and faces several primary challenges in the upcoming June 14 contest.

Trump has endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry in the race, and during a recent appearance in the state, the former president slammed Rice as "a total fool."

The congressman hit back at such an assertion, noting that his conservative voting record aligned with priorities of the former president.

"If I'm a disaster and a total fool, and I voted with him 169 times, what does that make him?" he said. "I mean — I'm taking his lead. But I said at the time, he's a narcissist, and he's driven by attention and he's driven by revenge."


Despite the friction between Rice and Trump, the South Carolinian said he would be willing to consider backing Trump for president again — but only if he apologized for his role on January 6.

"If he came out and said, 'I'm sorry I made a huge mistake on January 6th,'" the congressman said, "then I might consider it."

During the interview, Rice also dodged answering whether he'd back Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California to become House speaker if Republicans win back control of the House this fall, but didn't hesitate to boost fellow Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — and Trump nemesis — for the role.

"I think she'd be a great speaker," the congressman said. "I think she is a real Republican, I think she is very conservative, and I think she's a fearless leader."

Last week, former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — who said that more Republicans would have voted for Trump's second impeachment but "didn't have the guts to do it" — traveled to South Carolina to stump for Rice ahead of the primary.