In the minds of MAGA extremists, Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina committed a cardinal sin when, following the January 6, 2021 insurrection, she told CNN that former President Donald Trump’s “entire legacy was wiped out” by the events of that day. Now, in 2022, Mace is facing an aggressive GOP primary challenge from Trump-backed MAGA Republican Katie Arrington. But in an interview with The State, Mace expressed confidence she can win that primary without Trump’s endorsement.
Mace is not a Never Trump conservative. The South Carolina Republican was a field director on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and she ran on a pro-Trump platform in 2020. Mace voted against impeaching Trump in January 2021, but the fact that she was willing to criticize him at all is considered unforgivable by the MAGA crowd. From Arrington to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia to Trump himself, MAGA Republicans have been screaming that Mace has to go.
Greene slammed Mace as “the trash in the GOP conference” after Mace called out Rep. Lauren Boebert’s anti-Islam remarks. And Trump has described Mace as an “absolutely terrible candidate.”
But Mace, during her interview with The State, said of Trump, “I’m gonna win without him.”
Mace, however, didn’t criticize Trump during that interview. And many Democrats have slammed her as pathetic for a recent video in which she stood outside of Trump Tower in New York City and praised the former president.
To Mace’s critics on the Democratic side, the fact that she felt the need to praise Trump even though he insults her and is supporting Arrington shows that the former president still has way too much influence in the GOP.
But Mace told The State, “If you call it groveling, I would say you didn’t watch the video. I think it’s important to know what I said, but also, what I didn’t say — present tense versus past tense.”
One well-known Republican who is endorsing Mace over Arrington is former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
The State’s Caitlin Byrd writes, “Will a Nikki Haley endorsement matter more? The answer could determine Mace’s political fate, but it could also show whether Trump’s influence over the Republican Party is here to stay.”
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet