Apr 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Amash dismisses concerns that his candidacy will help re-elect Trump

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who announced Wednesday that he has formed an exploratory committee for a potential third-party presidential run, dismissed concerns on MSNBC that his candidacy could help re-elect President Trump.

What he's saying: Amash said that denying more candidates on the 2020 ballot is essentially "voter suppression" and "frankly un-American," adding, "If people want to vote for someone, they should vote for that person."

  • Amash, who has been critical of Trump and was the lone House Republican to support impeachment after the Mueller report came out, also said "it cuts both ways," and that some Trump supporters believe he is helping Biden.
  • "We don't know who people will vote for. It's impossible to say whether more people will vote for Biden or Trump if I'm in the race or not in the race, so I think there's a bit of a factual issue there. But more important, we want to give the American people more choices. This is about democracy."

The big picture: Amash, a libertarian who did not vote for the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, criticized the idea of the federal government controlling the entire country's coronavirus response, arguing that it should mostly be left to the states and people at home.

  • Amash has advocated for direct payments from the government, which he said would streamline the relief process by eliminating bureaucracy and transaction costs.
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