Rep. Justin Amash announced on Twitter on Saturday that he is dropping his plans to run for president in 2020. The former Republican-turned-Independent congressman had been considering a run as the Libertarian Party candidate.
“After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate.”
Amash went on in a lengthy Twitter thread to explain he’d spent the last three weeks looking at the reality of a campaign. He said he’d spent the time making media appearances, talking to potential donors, and watching the Libertarian’s convention plans unfold. After taking everything into account, he decided he wouldn’t have the ability to “be successful” and was shelving plans for the immediate future, at least.
Amash went on to say his dropping out of the election was a difficult decision after watching his grassroots supporters put so much effort into the campaign in a short time. While he is abandoning the campaign, he added he believes there is a need for a presidential candidate that isn’t a member of either the Democratic or Republican party.
The congressman pointed to “polarization” being at an “all-time high” as one of the reasons he thought about running for the office in the first place. He said that electoral success requires an audience that is willing to consider other options. He also claimed one of the reasons the public is so polarized these days is because the media is only giving airtime to Democratic and Republican voices.
Since announcing he was considering joining the presidential race, Amash has lobbed attacks at both Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Despite being critical of both major party candidates, analysts have said it’s likely a campaign that lasted until election day would take more votes away from the Democrat than the Republican.
While saying he didn’t believe he would be allowed to get his message out, Amash also said he believed the unusual circumstances surrounding this election would hurt his chances as well.
“Lingering uncertainty regarding ratification of online voting, the feasibility of 50-state ballot access and related legal challenges, and unity after the nomination have also weighed heavily on me. We must address these issues as a party to ensure we maximize our potential.”
Amash added he has been talking to Libertarian leaders over the last few weeks and still believes the party can be a real player in U.S. politics in the near future. While most of his social media followers told the congressman they appreciated his decision, one supporter was quite critical of the Libertarian Party.
“Maybe, it’s time to open your eyes. A lot of people like you got played. You thought the Libertarians had morals. Limits. They do not. They worship selfishness and power. Time to disown them,” the user wrote on Twitter.