WASHINGTON (WSAV) – Congresswoman Nancy Mace called her children to say she was OK as she was evacuated and then locked down inside a congressional office building during the insurrection Wednesday.
“I can’t believe I had to talk to my kids who were calling and texting every hour worried about their mom and what was going to happen,” said Mace, in just her third day representing South Carolina’s first congressional district.
Mace says she woke up in tears Thursday morning after seeing the video and pictures of the insurrection that happened at the U.S. Capitol.
“I am more heartbroken today than yesterday. Angrier today than yesterday,” said Mace. “All you could hear for hours on end were these sirens of Capitol Police and National Guard and other law enforcement units that were coming to protect the people on the Capitol and ensure no more lives were lost.”
“Make no mistake — this was not a protest, this was anarchy,” she added.
Anarchy, Mace says, was started by supporters of President Donald Trump. People who call themselves conservatives, members of her own party who filled the airwaves with violent rhetoric.
“I am angry at those who broke the law, those who ensured destruction, those who ensured the deaths of those four individuals,” said Mace. “Ensured the injuries to Capitol Police and law enforcement.”
“But I also have anger towards folks on the fringes of the far-right who have been using rhetoric for the last eight weeks now,” she continued. “Every day getting worse and worse, that enabled this kind of thing to happen.”
“These people were led to believe that Congress can singlehandedly change the results of the election. These people have been led to believe that the vice president can singlehandedly can overturn the presidential election. That’s just not the case, it is just not true,” Mace said.
The longtime Trump supporter who worked for his election as far back as 2015, and went coast to coast to help get him the presidency, now admits he destroyed the legacy she helped him build.
“All these great accomplishments, things that I prided myself on as a Republican, were wiped out in one moment of violence last night,” said Mace. “We have to start over from scratch. We need to as a party recognizes that we have a problem acknowledge it, take responsibility, to be the party of problems solvers and solutions. Be compassionate so we can find a way forward.”
But when asked about impeachment and the 25th Amendment and whether Vice President Mike Pence should invoke it to call for a vote to take him out of office, Mace was non-committal.
“I have not read entirely the 25th Amendment,” said Mace. “But I believe it is more about someone who is incapacitated or has a health issue or illness. It would be setting a dangerous precedent.”
She does applaud the vice president for how he handled the election result vote Wednesday night.
Mace has stronger feelings about the claims that Antifa led the protestor to the Capitol, or that the police were “in” on the storming of the American institution.
“I don’t deal in rumors on conspiracy theories like QAnon,” said Mace. “I like to deal in actual facts. If you are going to put forth such a crazy allegation then you better put forth some evidence on any of that. It doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat, you have to be consistent. You cant wildly throw out accusations without a lick of evidence.”
Now this first term congresswoman faces a different kind of crisis — and challenge.
“Some folks say it is going to take the Republican party 40 years to recover from this,” said Mace. “I don’t believe that either. I am going to work hard as long as I am elected, as long as the people of South Carolina’s first congressional district send me to Congress and ask me to do this job. I will work hard to do just that.”
“I’m ready to pick up the mantle and say we have a problem. We need to acknowledge that we need to take responsibility for the problems that happened yesterday and we need to work together as a party and as a nation to find solutions so this doesn’t happen again in our nation’s history.”
“In a moment of crisis we need people to lead us out of this and I intend to do as much as I can. I’ll rest when I’m dead. My country and my kids are counting on it.”
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