Justin Amash

Libertarian Presidential Candidates, on a Possible Justin Amash Run: 'That Would Be Amazing'

Competitors welcome chance to debate (and defeat!) the Republican congressman who is currently having a national moment.


"Justin Amash for President," reads the headline of a Daily Beast piece this morning from Matt Lewis. "A Change Conservatives Can Believe In."

After his electric town hall last night in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the libertarian Republican congressman is having a bit of a bipartisan moment. Founding Editor Charles Sykes of the #NeverTrump Bulwark today wrote about "Why Justin Amash Matters." Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) said during her own town hall last night on MSNBC that, "What he has done is what we need more people in the United States Congress to do, which is to put country before party." National Review writer and former 2016 trial-ballooned #NeverTrump presidential candidate David French said, "If Trump's the GOP nominee, I'd vote for @justinamash as the LP nominee in a heartbeat."

Ideologically unmoored Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin suggests Amash "buy ad time for 'Mueller Minutes' in which he can highlight some of Trump's egregious actions." And W. James Antle III, writing in The Week, urges a primary challenge within the GOP rather than a Quixotic third-party run.

So what about that third party? Here was Amash's answer last night to a question about running for president as a Libertarian in 2020:

Party leadership is openly courting Amash to enter the L.P. fray, which doesn't get sorted until May 2020. (Michigan's Republican primary is on March 10.) The lesser-known field of declared Libertarian presidential candidates, meanwhile, are—sometimes cheekily!—welcoming Amash into the fold.

Kim Ruff, a plastics/metals manufacturer and self-described "modern day 'Rosie the Riveter'" running atop a ticket with vice presidential nominee John Phillips, says bring it on:

Adam Kokesh, the radical activist running on a platform of "dissolving the federal government in a peaceful, orderly manner," posted a welcome video last week, saying "Those of us who have already announced and are actively running for the Libertarian Party nomination for president are running as a team: We really are working together and supporting each other, and I know from talking to at least most of them that they would also welcome you and support you, and they want you to run for the nomination, they want you to be part of the Libertarian Party; think that would be amazing." Watch:

In a follow-up email to supporters, Kokesh expanded, albeit with a twist:

[T]here's no question that Amash is aligned with our shared principles.  He is the most Libertarian member of Congress. Trained in Austrian Economics, his voting record supports his integrity on our issues.

Regarding the nomination, if he throws his hat in the ring, the media attention brought to the LP will be MASSIVE.

Amash would represent the "Never Trumpers" and be their best hope to beat Trump in 2020.

As the cameras roll, and the Trump-hating journalists wait with bated breath for our state chairs to count the ballots . . . they will be forced to announce the 2020 LP Presidential Candidate.

And with hard work and your support, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington PostNew York Times and others will run with the headline, "Libertarians Refuse to be Pawns, Nominate Adam Kokesh as Presidential Nominee."

Zing! (Emphases in original.)

I haven't seen any fresh commentary from controversialist Arvin Vohra, though he did tell me two months ago that "Justin Amash is the best member of Congress, no question," but "I don't think he's the person for a national level cultural war."

UPDATE: Souraya Faas, who I didn't know was running for the L.P. nomination (she ran as an independent write-in in the 2016 presidential race, and then received 16 percent of the vote in a 2018 Republican primary contest against then-incumbent Rep. Carlos Cubelo), has let me know that she issued a press release last week condemning Amash's call for impeachment, and demanding the resignation of Libertarian National Chair Nicholas Sarwark for allegedly endorsing the congressman, though Sarwark has not to my knowledge done so. Faas added that "the Mueller report only proved that Democrats especially Nancy Pelosi prefer to waste their time and energy showing the world that they are sore losers at the expense of hard working Amercians' tax paying dollars, rather than putting their ego and work together with the current administration in helping Make America Great Again!"

Meanwhile, supporters of Vermin Supreme demand a recount: