South Carolina Republicans on Saturday formally censured Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) after he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump earlier this month.
The censure is a symbolic expression of disapproval, but there’s a sense that it could have electoral consequences for Rice going forward. He seems well aware of that fact, telling The Associated Press that his impeachment vote could cost him his seat. “If it does, it does,” he said. Rice was previously considered a reliable Trump ally, but he felt the former president’s actions, or lack thereof, before, during, and after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot warranted impeachment.
Dreama Perdue, the Republican chair in Rice’s home county, said her office fielded hundreds of calls from constituents who are “just very, very upset” by Rice’s vote, arguing he wasn’t elected to “vote [his] conscience.”
The censure, unsurprisingly, sparked backlash from Trump critics. CNN’s Jake Tapper, for example, noted that GOP officials have shrugged their shoulders at Republicans who pushed unfounded allegations of voter fraud, helped spark the riot, or tout numerous racially-charged conspiracy theories, while targeting the small number of lawmakers in the party who backed impeachment.
GOP officials from coast to coast doing nothing to sanction those who spread the Big Lie or incited violence at the Capitol, nothing about the calls to violence or anti-Semitic crackpottery by Rep Greene, but LOTS being done to punish the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment. https://t.co/360Ebq46A3
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 30, 2021