News and Commentary

Justin Amash, Congressman Who Left GOP, Announces He Won’t Run For President In 2020
UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., makes his way to the Capitol before the last votes of the week on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party in 2019, has decided against running for president on the Libertarian ticket after launching an exploratory committee several weeks ago. 

In a twitter thread on Saturday morning, Amash said that he still believes a third-party candidate can win a presidential election, but suggested that the political environment wasn’t right for him. 

“Polarization is near an all-time high. Electoral success requires an audience willing to consider alternatives, but both social media and traditional media are dominated by voices strongly averse to the political risks posed by a viable third candidate,” said Amash. 

Amash has previously said that a strong motivator for him to leave the Republican Party was polarization in American politics, calling the status quo a “death spiral” in an op-ed for The Washington Post. In announcing his withdrawal from the 2020 race, Amash also suggested Americans weren’t interested in “broader” policy debates due to the coronavirus, which also has created fundraising challenges.

“Today, most Americans are understandably more interested in what life will look like tomorrow than they are in broader policy debates, and news coverage has reflected those priorities. At the same time, fundraising challenges posed by an idled economy will hinder advertising,” said the congressman. 

Amash also suggested that he would remain in the Libertarian Party.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper about his presidential ambitions several weeks ago, Amash pushed back against the idea that Americans were satisfied between choosing from President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 

“It doesn’t sound like there are a vast array of voters dissatisfied with both presidential choices,” said Tapper, who cited a poll showing that only 10% of voters have an unfavorable view of both candidates. 

“A good portion of the country, probably a plurality, is pretty independent, and they are looking for another choice,” responded Amash. “They might prefer one candidate or the other if you have a two-candidate field, but if you make it a three-candidate field, and you have a compelling candidate, they’d be delighted to go to that candidate.”

“And for too long, we’ve had the same system where these two parties go at each other, and Washington is totally dysfunctional,” the congressman continued. 

“That’s why I left the Republican Party, because there was this partisan death spiral. We need someone who’s going to come in as president, respect our Constitution, defend our rights, and fix our representative system of government so that people will actually feel represented at home – and I know that millions of Americans want that,” said Amash. 

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