Politics

Trump critic and ex-GOP Rep. Justin Amash will decide soon whether he will run for president

Key Points
  • Rep. Justin Amash, a former Republican who voted to impeach Trump, is getting close to making a decision about a third-party bid, his campaign said.
  • "Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option," the independent representative from Michigan tweeted on Monday. 
Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., is seen on the House steps of the Capitol before the House passed a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package by voice vote on Friday, March 27, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call | Getty Images

Rep. Justin Amash, a former Republican who voted to impeach President Donald Trump, is getting close to making a decision about a third-party bid for the White House, his campaign said Wednesday.

Speculation heated up after the Michigan independent tweeted on Monday that "Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option."

His tweet came in response to a quote from Trump stating, "When somebody's president of the United States, the authority is total, and that's the way it's gotta be."

Replying to a tweet urging him to be that other "option," Amash said he is weighing whether to run and will make a decision shortly.

"Thanks. I'm looking at it closely this week," he wrote.

In a statement Wednesday, his campaign said: "In mid-February, Justin Amash paused active campaigning for his congressional seat to carefully consider a presidential run. He has been discussing the potential campaign with his family, his friends, his team, and others, and a decision can be expected soon."

Amash made a splash last summer when he came out in support of impeachment and decided to leave the Republican Party, saying he felt "disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it. The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions."

Since then, he has continued to position himself as a Trump critic, receiving heat from top GOP officials and from the president himself.

On Monday, he criticized the president for claiming that he has control over how states respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In an extension of the rivalry between Amash and the president, Donald Trump Jr. said in June that he planned to campaign against him during the primary. There is little evidence that the president's son has done so amid the coronavirus outbreak.

It's unclear whether the 39-year-old Amash would run as an independent, a libertarian, or as another third-party candidate if he decides to go for it. 

It's unlikely that a third-party candidate would win the presidency. However, third-party candidates can swing elections in tight contests. Michigan is considered a swing state, with its 16 electoral college votes coveted by Trump and the apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 

Amash, the son of Christian Arab immigrants, represents Grand Rapids in Congress.