Rep. Nancy Mace has historically flip-flopped on her support of Trump…and she’s now backing his run for president.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/ZUMA
Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) is nothing if not inconsistent.
After claiming the January 6 attack on the US Capitol had “wiped out” Donald Trump’s legacy and that she wanted to be a “new voice” for the Republican party, the South Carolina congresswoman has endorsed Trump’s re-election campaign just one day before the New Hampshire primary.
Mace, who has been notoriously wishy-washy when it comes to her relationships with both Trump and the GOP, announced the endorsement in a post on X on Monday. Keeping with her record of shifting with the political winds, Mace once again tried to have it both ways.
“I don’t see eye to eye perfectly with any candidate,” she wrote. “And until now I’ve stayed out of it. But the time has come to unite behind our nominee. To be honest, it’s been a complete shit show since he left the White House.”
To be fair to Mace, she hasn’t consistently railed against Trump. Indeed, Mace has refused to vote to impeach him; appeared on video in front of Trump Tower to tout her support for him the day after he endorsed her rival in her 2022 primary (and called Mace “an absolutely terrible candidate” who has been “disloyal” to Republicans); and alleged the Justice Department’s indictment of Trump was politically motivated.
Still, her endorsement on Monday came as a surprise to some.
Trump’s main GOP challenger at this point, former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, lives in Mace’s congressional district. Haley also endorsed Mace in her 2022 primary run against a Trump-backed opponent, the Associated Press reports. (Haley, for her part, doesn’t seem bothered about the South Carolina politician backing her rival. In New Hampshire yesterday, when asked about Mace’s endorsement of Trump, Haley told reporters: “I don’t want the political class, I want the people of New Hampshire. And keep in mind—I won South Carolina twice.”)
Additionally, Mace has also been open about her own experience of sexual assault as a teenager and has referred to that experience when advocating for rape and incest exceptions in abortion bans. Trump, of course, has bragged on tape about committing sexual assault; has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of women; and was found liable last year of sexually assaulting the writer E. Jean Carroll, and is currently ensnared in the penalty phase of that trial.
So how does Mace square these realities with her endorsement of Trump? We’ve asked her team, and we’ll update this post if we hear back.
And what does Trump think (or, put another way: does he care)? It’s unclear, as he doesn’t seem to have publicly acknowledged the endorsement, but we’ve reached out to his campaign to ask.
Meanwhile, Mace sought to defend her endorsement in an appearance on Fox News, arguing that she was simply following the will of South Carolinans, and that while Haley “ran a great race,” Mace’s constituents want Trump back in office.
“Everything was better under Trump…and that is what I hear day in and day out from the voters of South Carolina,” she said. And those voters are the same ones she’ll be trying to win over this November…which may be the only logical explanation for this move.