by Chuck Ross
Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who announced July 4 that he is leaving the Republican party, said Sunday that he is not ruling out a run for president.
“I still wouldn’t rule anything like that out,” Amash told CNN’s Jake Tapper when asked if he is considering a presidential bid.
Amash did not give a timeline for when he will decide whether to run, saying that “it’s not something that’s right on my radar right now.”
Amash, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, announced in a July 4 op-ed in The Washington Post that he was “declaring my independence” from the GOP.
“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,” he wrote.
On May 18, Amash became the first Republican in Congress to call for Trump to be impeached in the wake of the special counsel’s investigation. Amash said that Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct,” and that Attorney General William Barr had “deliberately” misrepresented special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in his public statements about the investigation.
If Amash had remained in the Republican party, he would have faced a tough primary challenge from Jim Lower, a state representative in Michigan. He said Sunday that he believes he can win re-election to his seat, which he has held since 2011.
“I believe that 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 whatever way works best,” Amash said Sunday.
“If that means doing something else then I’d do that. But I feel confident about running in my district. I feel a close tie to my community. I care a lot about my community; I want to represent them in Congress.”
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.