Amash says Sanford presidential bid won’t impact decision on whether he runs in 2020

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who left the Republican party in July, said former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s decision to launch a primary bid against President Trump will not impact whether he ultimately decides to run as an independent in 2020. 

“It has no bearing,” Amash told The Hill on Monday. “I don’t have any plans to get involved in the Republican primary.”

The Michigan independent has expressed an interest in challenging the president but has not yet made a decision.

Amash has repeatedly praised Sanford, a fellow Trump critic and former conservative colleague in the House, for standing by his policy positions and pushing back on the administration.  

“I know Mark. He’s thoughtful, he’s humble, he’s learned from his mistakes and grown, and I think we really need a person like that in the White House,” he told CNN earlier this year. 

Sanford announced his primary bid on Fox News Sunday, telling host Chris Wallace he believes “we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican.”

Trump previously backed Sanford’s primary opponent, causing him to ultimately lose his House seat during the midterm election cycle. Sanford said he believes there is room in the presidential race for both he and Amash should he decide to run. 

“If I was taking one bite at the apple and he was taking another, I don’t think it hurts me,” Sanford told The Daily Beast. “It enhances the collective ability to get a message out relative to a sitting president.” 

In addition to Sanford, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (R) have also launched long-shot bids against the president. 

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