Rep. Justin Amash Leaves GOP, Says Presidential Run ‘Not On Radar Right Now’

Justin Amash presidential race 2020

[Amash speaking at the Young Americans for Liberty National Convention | Gage Skidmore | CC BY-SA 2.0]

Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) announced last week that he was leaving the Republican Party in a Washington Post op-ed:

“No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”

Rep. Amash, a favorite among many Libertarians in his state and across the U.S., did tell CNN‘s Jake Tapper that he is not ruling out running for POTUS as an Independent. This is the quote highlighted by most media outlets:

“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. And I believe I have to defend the Constitution in whichever way works best.”

While media outlets such as The Hill have now spun Amash’s unwillingness to rule out a presidential run as an insinuation that he might have plans in the works at this time to run for President in 2020, Amash actually stated that he wants to continue to represent his community in Congress. Tapper then asked him when he will make a decision about a presidential run. Though it’s true Amash didn’t rule anything out, he certainly didn’t appear to rule anything in either.

In fact, despite the headlines, this is what Amash actually went on to say:

“Well, it’s something people talk about all the time. It’s not something that’s right on my radar right now. So, I couldn’t tell you.”

You can watch the exchange below. The video is indexed to start at the conversation where Tapper asked Amash about a presidential run.

What do you think Amash’s plans are for 2020? Decide for yourself using Amash’s full explanation, not just the excerpt used in the headlines. Then, leave us a comment below.

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