Michigan Rep. Justin Amash said on Saturday that he would not seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president just weeks after saying he would.
“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 said on Twitter. “I continue to believe that a candidate from outside the old parties, offering a vision of government grounded in liberty and equality, can break through in the right environment. But this environment presents extraordinary challenges.”
Amash flirted with the bid for months after leaving the Republican Party over his opposition to Trump.
Amash, a former Tea Party Republican who was key in forming the House Freedom Caucus, has sided with Democrats on Trump’s impeachment and some of Trump’s more controversial policies.
Amash worried about coming campaign:
Amash complained in his Twitter thread that media has become “dominated by voices strongly averse to the political risks posed by a viable third party candidate” and said social distancing restrictions make it difficult for a third party candidate to reach people.
He also expressed questions about the Libertarian Party national convention, citing “lingering uncertainty regarding ratification of online voting, the feasibility of 50-state ballot access and related legal challenges, and unity after the nomination.”
“We must address these issues as a party to ensure we maximize our potential,” he said. “I’ve been speaking directly to delegates about this opportunity for only a short time, but these conversations have solidified my belief that the Libertarian Party is well positioned to become a major and consistent contender to win elections at all levels of government.”
Amash pulled out over concerns he would help Trump:
Amash’s decision came after Vox reported that his bid drew an “angry response” by groups concerned he may pull votes away from Vice President Joe Biden.
“Reactions to his announcement came fast and furious, particularly from Never Trump conservatives concerned he could pull votes away from Joe Biden and help incumbent Donald Trump win reelection,” the outlet reported. “Others noted Amash’s lack of national name recognition and the historic lack of success for third-party candidates. A writer at the conservative-leaning blog Ordinary Times said Amash’s 2020 campaign would be ‘something 10 years from now you will be mildly upset for not remembering during a rousing round of bar trivia while waiting on your wings at B-Dubs.’”