Rep. Nancy Mace announced she plans to support Rep. Jim Jordan to replace ousted House speaker Kevin McCarthy, whom she voted to remove from office last week. When pressed about the allegations that Jordan ignored sexual assaults by a team doctor while he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State University, the Republican congresswoman claimed to not “know anything” about the issue, despite it being widely reported.
“I know you’ve been outspoken about defending victims of sexual assault,” Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan said to Mace on Sunday. “Do the past allegations against Jim Jordan that he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse give you any reservations? How do you square that?”
“Yeah, I’m not familiar or aware with that,” Mace said. “He’s not indicted on anything that I’m aware of. And so I don’t, I don’t know anything, and I can’t speak to that.”
“I don’t know anything about that,” Mace continued. “What I do know is that I’ve been a very strong voice for women. I’ve talked to Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise about that. I’ve been a very strong advocate for rape victims.”
In 2019, Mace revealed that she was raped when she was 16, and she has said that event shaped her views on abortion. Mace also noted she is working on a bill with Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee to address the large backlog of unprocessed rape kits.
Mace is correct that Jim Jordan has not been indicted, but he was named as a defendant in a suit against the university in 2018 that alleged OSU doctor Richard Strauss abused athletes on the team over the course of decades, including while Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach. Jordan has denied knowing about the abuse during his tenure, but at least six former OSU wrestlers have said Jordan was aware but failed to act. An independent investigative report released by the university in 2021 concluded that Strauss abused at least 177 students.
In justifying her support for Jordan, Mace said, “I am going to be supporting Jim Jordan, for speaker for a number of reasons. I think that his values, his work ethic, his ability to just run circles around everyone with regards to policy and pushing forward. We’ve been one of the least productive Congresses inside of 30 years, and he’s going to be a workhorse for our country.”
Host Margaret Brennan pressed Mace on her endorsement, pointing out harsh words from former Rep. Liz Cheney, who recently cautioned Republicans not to elect Jordan speaker because he was the member of Congress who knew the most about Trump’s plans for Jan. 6.
“Jim Jordan knew more about what Donald Trump had planned for Jan. 6, than any other member of the House of Representatives,” Cheney said during a speech last week. “And if the Republicans decide that Jim Jordan should be the speaker of the House, there would no longer be any possible way to argue that a group of elected Republicans could be counted on to defend the Constitution.”
Mace, who unlike Jordan voted to certify the 2020 election results, dismissed Cheney’s concerns. “There’s going to be all sorts of issues that we agree on and disagree on. And also in terms of Jan. 6… I was one of the most vocal members of our party, that day, and the days and weeks beyond that,” she said. “I got primaried because of my vote to certify, because I spoke out. And so you know, we have to look forward and unite and come together regardless of what has happened in the past.”
Mace this summer said she was willing to “bury the hatchet” with Donald Trump as well. Trump has been credibly accused of sexually assaulting multiple women, and lost not just one but two defamation suits brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll after he denied that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.
“We can’t afford four more years of Joe Biden,” Mace said in June. “I’m willing to bury the hatchet to save the country, and I know President Trump is too.”