Fox News host Sean Hannity playfully jabbed Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) Thursday night over an edgy joke she made the day before at a prayer breakfast hosted by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).
“Congresswoman Mace made even more headlines [Wednesday] morning at a prayer breakfast, when she explained why she was almost late for Tim Scott’s prayer breakfast,” the “Hannity” host said before playing a clip of the congresswoman’s appearance.
“When I woke up this morning at 7:00, I was getting picked up at 7:45. Patrick, my fiancé, tried to pull me by my waist over this morning in bed and I was like, ‘No, baby, we don’t got time for that this morning. I gotta get to the prayer breakfast, and I gotta be on time,’” Mace, 45, told attendees at the 13th Annual South Carolina Prayer Breakfast.
“A little TMI, but he can wait, he’s got — I’ll see him later tonight,” she added with a sheepish grin, gesturing to her fiancé, Patrick Bryant, who was in the room.
The audience — which included Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Russell Fry (R-SC) — could be heard laughing nervously as Mace riffed.
After playing the clip, Hannity quipped by way of introduction: “Much later tonight ’cause she’s on this show. Anyway, Congresswoman Mace joins us. Uh, Congresswoman, great to have you.”
“Where do we start, Sean?” Mace asked after being put on the spot.
“Uh, I guess you’ll get home sometime around midnight tonight, so, um, I thought it was pretty funny at a prayer breakfast,” Hannity said. “Good for you for having a great sense of humor.”
But the longtime host didn’t leave it there and referenced the awkward moment at the end of the Fox interview as well.
“Congresswoman, we appreciate you coming to this show instead of going home to your fiancé,” Hannity reiterated. “We really appreciate it.”
“He’ll see me shortly! I’ll see him shortly,” Mace said. “Thank you, Sean.”
Critics piled on Mace for making the racy remark at the conservative Christian event.
“She’s not religious. Okay. But seriously? At a prayer breakfast? At least respect your audience,” RedState contributor Bonchie said on Twitter.
“Prayer breakfasts ain’t even slapping like that. Respectfully,” Atlantic contributing writer Jemele Hill also tweeted.
“Why am I not surprised that this is the GOP Congresswoman advocating for OTC birth control and not wanted [sic] to stop the DoD from paying for abortions?” Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins added. “Nancy Mace is a Disgrace.”
Evangelicals consider premarital sex a sin.
The South Carolina Republican, who has been married and divorced twice, tweeted a cheeky mea culpa on Thursday, saying, “My fiancé is not upset but he did suggest I go to church twice this Sunday. See y’all at the 8:30 and the 11:30!”
Scott, 57, remains a distant fifth place in the Republican presidential primary with 3% support, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
The longshot GOP presidential hopeful has seen a small increase in backing from some early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire in recent months.
On Thursday, Scott lashed out at second-place GOP contender and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over state curriculum that would have students learn about how “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” while also having lessons on “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.”
“As a country founded upon freedom, the greatest deprivation of freedom was slavery,” Scott told reporters. “There is no silver lining … in slavery.”