Former House Speaker Paul Ryan campaigned for Representative Tom Rice on Wednesday, suggesting the South Carolina Republican’s vote to impeach Donald Trump was a gutsy call and railing against GOP “celebrities” trying to aid the former President’s “vengeance.”
The comments marked the first serious public rebuke of Trump by the former Speaker of the House, once considered the future of the GOP, in some time.
Rice was one of only 10 Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of impeaching Trump over his alleged role in inciting the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
Ryan praised his actions.
“There were a lot of people who wanted to vote like Tom but who just didn’t have the guts to do it,” Ryan said.
Former House @SpeakerRyan ripped brand-focused “entertainers” posing as lawmakers who are preoccupied with their careers rather than their constituents during a campaign stop for embattled @RepTomRicewhom he called a “workhorse.” https://t.co/OYqZM4jJZu
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 2, 2022
RELATED: Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump Are Already Facing Primary Challenges
Paul Ryan Rips Trump, GOP
Paul Ryan continued to attack the Republican Party during his campaign speech to aid embattled Representative Tom Rice, calling out lawmakers who dare to support Trump.
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Ryan embraced Rice as a “man of conviction” whose vote to impeach was a “vote for the Constitution.”
“This is just such a crystal clear case where you have a hard-working, effective, senior member of Congress who deserves reelection vs. people who are just trying to be celebrities who may be trying to help Trump with his vengeance,” he added.
“That’s not who voters want, voters want people focused on their solutions, not on Trump’s vengeance and that to me is a really clear-cut case here,” said Ryan.
B) Ryan on Trump: Look at Georgia last week..They voted for honest conservatives who are focused on their problems. They didn’t want to go for Donald Trump. Bloodlust, for vengeance. They wanted politicians who are going to work on solving their problems or tending to their needs
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 1, 2022
RELATED: ‘Never Trumpers’ Paul Ryan, John Boehner, And Adam Kinzinger Supporting Liz Cheney’s Reelection Bid
Pro-Impeachment Tom Rice is Struggling
It’s unclear if Paul Ryan’s campaign efforts for Tom Rice will yield results, as the incumbent is currently trailing in polls to Russell Fry, the South Carolina Legislature’s majority whip, who earned Trump’s endorsement.
Fry, in an interview with Breitbart News, said the former President’s endorsement had been a boon for his campaign.
“The energy’s incredible, you know. Prior to the Trump endorsement, we were tracking well, we were very firmly in a one versus one kind of race,” Fry said.
“There’s several people in the race, but the endorsement has been, like lights out. I mean, it’s just been incredible. The energy is real.”
An internal poll from Fry’s campaign shows rice trails the Trump-endorsed candidate by double digits in their primary race.
Russell Fry leads Tom Rice in South Carolina CD 7 GOP Primary. Tom Rice was one of the 10 Republicans Who Voted To Impeach President Trump
Russell Fry 39%
Tom Rice 23%
Ken Richardson 10%
May 7-10 / @RussellFrySC internal poll https://t.co/jBCUpNm2Cp
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 27, 2022
Ryan, meanwhile, has also hitched his wagon to another struggling horse in Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney.
Cheney is also one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and one who has made it a personal crusade to embellish the events at the Capitol over a year ago.
The Political Insider reported in September that Ryan had been donating money and support to Cheney’s re-election bid in the hopes that he could help in “exciting her own voters.”
Cheney, like Rice according to a new poll, is struggling, which is pretty exciting. She trails her primary opponent, Harriet Hageman, a Wyoming attorney who has the backing of Trump, by a whopping 30 percentage points.
Hageman – 56%
Cheney – 26%
Bouchard – 12%
Undecided – 6%
WPAi poll of 400 LVs on May 24-25. Club is backing Hagemanhttps://t.co/SMWJLvJqrm
— Ally Mutnick (@allymutnick) May 27, 2022
Trump has referred to Ryan as a “curse to the Republican Party” after the former Speaker advised the GOP to steer clear of the “populist appeal of one personality.”
Paul Ryan also overdramatized the events of January 6th and Trump’s role, saying he found it “horrifying to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and disgraceful end.”
“He has no clue as to what needs to be done for our Country, was a weak and ineffective leader, and spends all of his time fighting Republicans as opposed to Democrats who are destroying our Country,” Trump fired back.
The former President has said Tom Rice is a “coward who abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left.”
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