Paul Ryan campaigning with GOP rep who voted to impeach Trump
Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will campaign for a Republican representative who surprised the political world by voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump last year, a development underscoring the fundamental divide between the pre- and post-Trump GOP.
Ryan will stump for South Carolina Rep. Tom Price this week; Price, the representative for South Carolina’s 6th Congressional district, is among the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time in January of 2021.
“Tom Rice is a man of principle, a man of conviction, and a leader who always puts South Carolina’s interests first,” Ryan said to media this week. “He is a legislative workhorse with a long track-record of supporting policies that grow the economy, rein in out-of-control spending, and expand opportunities for families and businesses.”
Ryan’s decision highlights the split within the Republican party that has emerged in the years since Trump crashed onto the political scene and won a surprise upset in the 2016 election. Ryan himself ran in the 2012 presidential election as the running mate with Mitt Romney, the latter a longtime and harsh critic of Trump.
Bitter infighting within the GOP has often turned on whether or not Republicans are sufficiently loyal to Trump and his political agenda, while older Republican voices have urged the party to hew to its more muted and less confrontational politics.
In his vote to impeach Trump, Rice at the time claimed that he had been a loyalist to the president but that Trump’s alleged involvement in the brief January 6 Capitol riot was too much.
“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable,” he said at the time.