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SC's Tom Rice reportedly regrets his vote objecting to the 2020 Electoral College results

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U.S. Rep. Tom Rice talks with Randy Liposky (left) and Jeffrey Herwig during a stop on a tour to kick off his reelection campaign on Nov. 9, 2021, at Applewood House of Pancakes on Pawleys Island. File/Lauren Petracca/Staff

MYRTLE BEACH — U.S. Rep. Tom Rice told Washington media he regrets objecting to the 2020 Electoral College results showing Democratic president-elect Joe Biden won Arizona and Pennsylvania.

“In retrospect I should have voted to certify,” the Myrtle Beach Republican told Politico on Dec. 22. “Because President Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol.”

Rice was one of 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching then-President Donald Trump for failing to intervene when a mob of his supporters caused a riot on Capitol Hill to stop the certification of election results. 

Of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, Rice was the only one who had objected to certifying the election results. 

“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 told Politico. "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 declined to comment on Dec. 22 to The Post and Courier after publication of the Politico interview.

Backlash to Rice's Trump impeachment vote was swift. The South Carolina GOP later censured him for his vote and didn't invite him to the party's state conference that was held in his own district in Myrtle Beach this past October. 

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S.C. GOP Chairman Drew McKissick declined to comment on Rice's new statement about his vote. Leaders of the Horry County GOP did not respond to emails asking for their reaction to the congressman's latest comments. 

Rice presently faces 10 challengers heading toward the 2022 GOP primary for his 7th Congressional District seat, which includes parts of Florence, the Pee Dee, Myrtle Beach and the northeastern part of the state.

Trump has already signaled he wants to replace Rice, issuing a statement last month calling on additional "good and SMART America First Republican Patriots” to take on the Myrtle Beach congressman. 

Rice voted with Trump 94 percent of the time over the past four years, according to FiveThirtyEight. But his vote to impeach Trump was deemed counter to what some of the loudest voices in the Republican base value most: an enduring loyalty to the former president.

The only South Carolina Republican who voted to certify the 2020 election results was U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace of Charleston. Despite comments she made criticizing Trump on Jan. 6, she did not vote to impeach the president. 

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter. 

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