LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Washington — Republican U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of west Michigan on Sunday left open the possibility of running for president in 2020 as a third-party candidate.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, the five-term libertarian congressman was asked if he'd run for the White House in two years as a Libertarian candidate.

"Well, I’d never rule anything out," Amash said. "That’s not on my radar right now, but I think it is important that we have someone in there who is presenting a vision for America that is different than what these two parties are presenting."

Amash, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, did not endorse Trump in 2016.

He told a group of Libertarians in January that the "ideal" Libertarian presidential candidate would bring together both Republican and Democratic voters, and not just appeal to "diehard" libertarian types.  

"Right now, we have a wild amount of partisan rhetoric on both sides, and Congress is totally broken. We can't debate things in a clear way anymore. Everything has become, do you like President Trump or do you not like President Trump," Amash said on CNN. 

"We need to return to basic American principles. Talk about what we have in common as a people — because I believe we have a lot of common as Americans — and try to move forward together rather than fighting each other all the time."

Amash, 38, has repeatedly spoken out in recent months against Trump's emergency declaration to gain funding for a barrier wall at the border with Mexico. He argues that the act is executive overreach because there is no "emergency." 

Amash was among 13 Republicans who voted for the House resolution last week to block Trump's emergency declaration. The Senate is considering the measure this month.

"The fact that there’s a debate going on here and there’s not consensus, indicates it is not an emergency in the sense the president is describing, and he can’t just go around Congress," Amash told CNN. 

He said Republicans who support Trump's national emergency are abdicating their responsibilities to the Constitution, "though I don’t think they’re all intending to do that."

Amash said Congress may not grant legislative powers, such as appropriations, to the president by statute.

"I don’t think that’s allowed under our constitutional system, and the best check on the president’s action is Congress," Amash said.

"Our system is not designed so the courts are going to resolve these disputes all the time between the legislative branch and the executive branch. We have to protect our own power. That’s what I’m doing, and I’m hoping many Republican senators will agree."

Later Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said he would vote to support the  resolution to roll back Trump's emergency declaration — which gives the Senate a majority in support of the measure. 

Trump has said he would "100 percent" veto the resolution. 

mburke@detroitnews.com 

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/03/amash-could-run-president-third-party/3049625002/