‘He completely abdicated his leadership’: Rep. Tom Rice explains his vote to impeach President Trump

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Representative Tom Rice sat down with News13’s Chris Spiker to talk about why he joined nine other republicans Wednesday in voting to impeach President Donald Trump.

Rice said he was unhappy with Trump’s response to the riots at the Capitol, which led to his decision. He said the riots were a result of Trump’s actions.

“His actions this last week — well since the election — but particularly in this last week, have just exhibited a complete lack of leadership and responsibility,” Rice said.

Rice said Trump’s tweets about Vice President Mike Pence not having the courage to “do the right thing” showed no regard for the well-being of the police, Pence, or anybody else.

“He never did a press briefing, he never spoke to the county, he just put out a couple of tweets,” Rice said. “He just sat in the White House and watched what happened on TV, and I think that is horrifying. I think he completely abdicated his leadership.

“Then, over the next week, it’s been a week since that happened, I can’t imagine that any other president would not have spoken to the country, wouldn’t have done a presidential statement, spoken to the country on TV and told them now’s the time to calm the temperature.”

“He needs to be bringing the temperature down,” Rice said. “He brought it up, he needs to bring it down.”

Rice also was upset with Trump telling reporters that his comments before the mob stormed the Capitol were “totally appropriate” when six people, including two Capitol police officers, were killed.

“Man, in this last week, to have six people killed, including two Capitol police officers, and to say his comments were perfectly appropriate and to not speak to the country to try to tamp down further violence, I think is just unfathomable and certainly unacceptable.”

“I’ve heard from an awful lot of folks who are horrified at what he’s doing,” Rice said. “And I hear from a lot of folks who continue to support him.”

“They hire me as their [representative] to educate myself about the facts of the law and to make reasonable decisions and vote for them and that’s what I did today,” Rice said. “I voted to do what I thought was the right thing. I can’t imagine another president in my lifetime, or any lifetime, who would have gone through that event and not tried to stop it — not taken real effort to stop it. And number two, after it, to try and heal the wounds, and he has not done that in any shape or fashion.”

Rice said his vote against certifying the election results was about election security, not about Trump.

Rice also said this doesn’t make him regret supporting Trump in the past.

“To my constituents, I love you and thank you for the job,” Rice said. “If you’re disappointed in me, I understand and if it cost me my job, that’s the way it is.”

Watch the full interview above.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories