Representative Justin Amash of Michigan has been making headlines recently.
First, back in May, he made a case for President Trump’s impeachment based on his reading of the Mueller report, becoming the only congressional Republican to publicly argue that Trump engaged in impeachable conduct.
Then, on the Fourth of July, Representative Amash declared his independence – from the Republican party. He said he wasn’t blaming Donald Trump or any single entity for his decision to leave, claiming his decision was a “principled” one made after several years of concerns about the Republican party.
Trump celebrated Amash’s departure, calling him a loser.
Amash’s departure does have a practical purpose, according to the Daily Wire:
Amash has only barely squeaked through the Republican primary for his own seat in the last two election cycles, and his latest opponent, Jim Lowe, had promised to oust Amash in an upcoming Republican primary. Amash hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has shifted from a moderate district to a highly polarized one, and there remains significant support for Trump among Amash’s constituents.
Declaring his departure from the GOP allows Amash to avoid a primary and skip straight to the general, where he can challenge Lowe by appealing to both Republicans and Democrats in his district.
But Amash might have his sights set even higher: the presidency.
Amash appeared first on CNN’s “State of the Union” to announce that he’s mulling over the possibility of running as a third party candidate for president. Amash is libertarian, but says he would be open to launching a bid as an independent.
“I still wouldn’t rule anything like that out, I believe I have to use my skills, my public influence, where it serves the country best,” Amash said. “And I believe I have to defend the Constitution in whichever way that works best.
I really don’t know enough about Amash to say whether he’s truly trying to stick to his principles, or whether he’s just another swamp creature. I do appreciate his concerns about our two-party system, which he called “an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
Do you guys think Rep. Amash has any prayer at a successful political future – or an influential presidential run – as an independent?