Libertarianism

Amash Says Cruz Isn't a Libertarian, Endorses Him, Wishes Trump Would 'Go Back to The Apprentice'

Reps. Thomas Massie and Justin Amash debate whether the GOP is libertarian enough.

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Justin Amash
Gage Skidmore

Libertarian-leaning Republican Rep. Justin Amash defended his endorsement of Ted Cruz during a lively discussion with student attendees of the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. on Friday. 

"Cruz is a person we can work with," said Amash. 

He was joined on the stage by fellow libertarian-leaning Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, who hasn't endorsed anyone since the pair's first choice—Sen. Rand Paul—departed the race. 

"I'm still going to vote for Rand, in Kentucky," said Massie, who remained skeptical of Cruz. 

Amash conceded that Cruz is not a libertarian, and that he hasn't sounded like a libertarian in recent weeks. 

"I understand the rhetoric on the campaign trail is not what we want to hear," said Amash. "But you have to separate the rhetoric from the voting record." 

Amash maintained that Cruz's record suggests he's closer to libertarianism than Donald Trump or Marco Rubio are. 

"He's opposed intervention," said Amash. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is genuinely terrifying and "should go back to The Apprentice," he said.

Amash and Massie touched on a range of other subjects, including the federal government's efforts to compel Apple to decrypt the San Bernardino terrorists' cell phones. Both Congressmen think the government is in the wrong. 

"I hope they take it to the Supreme Court," said Amash. 

Massie also discussed the need for Congress to rein in federal authority by restricting funding. 

"If Paul Ryan passes an Omnibus bill, I'm not voting for him for Speaker," said Massie. 

Amash joked that this was hardly out of character for Massie. "I don't think he's voting for any of our Republicans," he said.