POLITICS

Rep. Justin Amash, Trump-Bashing Republican, Won't Rule Out 2020 Presidential Run

The Michigan lawmaker is the first and only Republican calling for Trump's impeachment.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who drew outrage from members of his party when he called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment last month, said he hasn’t ruled out a potential 2020 presidential run.

The 39-year-old libertarian told The Hill on Wednesday that he has no interest in “playing spoiler” if he runs as a third-party candidate.

“When I run for something, I run to win,” said Amash.

Asked if he’s made a decision about launching a presidential bid, Amash said, “I haven’t ruled anything out.”

Trump supporters worry a possible presidential run by Amash would splinter Republican votes, making the president vulnerable in states like Wisconsin where he narrowly beat Hilary Clinton in 2016.

Amash made headlines last month when he became the first ― and so far, only ― congressional Republican to publicly support impeachment proceedings against Trump in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

“Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence,” he wrote in a series of tweets on May 18.

Republicans have distanced themselves from Amash, including some of his closest allies, following his impeachment comments. He announced Monday that he was stepping down from the House Freedom Caucus, a Tea Party-friendly group that Amash helped form in 2015.

“I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” Amash told CNN of the Freedom Caucus. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.” 

Trump and other White House aides, enraged by his impeachment remarks, have discussed the prospect of backing a GOP challenger to Amash in 2020, Politico reported Wednesday.

A new poll this week from Practical Political Consulting showed Michigan state Rep. Justin Lower (R) ahead of Amash by 16 points.

“See you soon Justin,” Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, tweeted Thursday. “I hear Michigan is beautiful during primary season.” 

Some Republicans and members of Trump’s inner circle reportedly question whether Amash will seek reelection. Others believe his chances of winning either reelection or a presidential election are slim to none anyway.

But Amash said he doesn’t “really worry” about being the underdog.

“I have a lot of confidence in what I’m doing, in the American people, and especially the people in my district,” Amash told The Hill.

“I didn’t run for office to sell out my principles to the party or to any one person,” he added. “I’ve promised the people of my district I would operate in a certain way, uphold the Constitution, uphold the rule of law, fight for limited government and liberty, and that’s what I’m doing.”

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