Amash: Partisan politics ‘dangerous for our country’

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Rep. Justin Amash says he is hoping to set an example by declaring his independence from the Republican party.

The Libertarian lawmaker announced he was leaving the GOP in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday morning.

“I’ve thought a lot about this decision, as we approached Independence Day I thought, ‘this is a good day to do it,’” Amash said at the July 4 parade in East Grand Rapids.

Amash confirmed he will be running as an Independent in pursuit of re-election.

He said there aren’t enough legislators acting on principle.

“(He wanted) to stand up and say, ‘enough is enough with the system,’” he said. "People are going to Washington, they’re going to Lansing and they’re doing things based on partisan affiliation and they’re not doing things basis on principle or what’s best for everyone in their community, so I thought it was important to come out and take a stand and set an example.”

President Donald Trump sent a tweet Monday calling Amash one of the “dumbest and most disloyal men in Congress.” It isn’t the first time Amash has drawn criticism from the president.

Amash said there is very little room in the Republican party to disagree with Trump, and that is a dangerous concept.

“I think it’s dangerous where we’re headed, where if you disagree with one person in your party — the person at the top — you’re considered an outcast and I think that’s very dangerous for our country,” Amash said.

Regardless of the criticism from other Republicans, Amash is confident he is making the right decision.

“I’ve always been pretty independent, so it’s not as different as it might be for some other people in office, but I’m happy, I’m confident I’m doing the right thing and that’s how you should operate as a legislator,” he said.

Several people in attendance at the parade said they were happy with his decision to leave the Republican party.

“I know the community well, I’ve been representing the community for several years now and most people are not super partisan, most people are not super political,” Amash said. “They want someone to go represent them with honor and integrity, and I think they just want someone to go do the right thing and stand up for them. Right now, a lot of people in Washington are not doing that."

State Rep. Jim Lower, who is one of four Republican candidates running in Michigan’s 3rd District, said Thursday’s decision seemed like the direction Amash was heading in.

“It’s clear that he knew he couldn’t be re-nominated as Republican for Congress, so he’ll probably just run as an independent and try to keep the seat that way,” Lower said.

Lower said despite Amash's backlash from dissenting the president, there is room in the GOP to disagree with President Trump.

“There’s certainly room but Amash is way outside of the mainstream, not only on the issue of wanting to impeach the president but also joining with what I would deem extremists on a lot of issues," Lower said.

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15 comments

  • steve

    The reasons for the partisanship in politics that he, and many others detest, lie mainly at the feet of Democrats. He’s leaving the party that historically more often than not has been ready and willing to cross the aisle. The pre-Clinton Democrats often were willing to do so. But, post-Clinton Democrats rarely, if ever, will. I don’t know what, if anything, will make the Democrats ever willing to compromise in the future, but Amash’s leaving the Republican Party won’t help make it happen.

  • C

    Justin, all reasonable would wish for more compromise and less partisanship. But, hoping for compromise with a party that accepts and embraces the lunacy of people like Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar, is wishful thinking. While your desire and motives for leaving the Republican Party may be admirable, they’l be nothing more than an exercise in futility.

  • DaMailman

    What planet is Amash living on? Trying to get the Republican Party to accomplish anything is like herding cats. I’d love to see a little of this alleged “partisanship”. Instead Republican constituents get stuck with back stabbing RINOs like Romney, McCain, Flake, Ben Sasse, Paul Ryan, Amash, etc. If you want to see hyper-partisanship go look at the other side of the aisle. There’s a reason you never hear the term DINO.

  • Indicible

    Which political party embraces and emboldens a known/admitted philandering liar at the cost of their moral values and empathy for others while also claiming to be good bible following “Christian” folk worried about needless federal spending?
    Republicans are, in my Gen X opinion, hypocritical to say the least, and our past silence will be felt come next election as TRUE democratic values supersede the corruption found in today’s political b.s. led by a dying Republican party clawing to keep a grasp in an ever-changing nation.
    Complaining about someone having a sense of morality won’t change the fact that YOU fail to progress with time.

    • DaMailman

      Says the guy whose front runners are 80 year old white guys, a hooker and a culturally appropriating professor who makes $300k for teaching one class.

      • Indicible

        Ever hear of Ross Perot?
        You must be older than I, when a nice house could be purchased reasonably cheap in an ever affluent, growing town called Rockford.
        Drink up.

  • Content Awaiting Moderation

    So he fraudulently ran as a Republican to get the job. He’s supposed to be a REPRESENTATIVE. His views are secondary to those of his constituents. Instead of quitting the party he should resign his seat if he is actually as high minded as he portrays himself.

  • Indicible

    CONTENT WAITING MODERATION
    He’s MY representative as well, and as a country living, deer hunting liberal, received my vote until last year when his voting record came into play.
    I ‘d rather follow the Constitution than an ego driven imbecile such as trump.

    • Rj

      You had better take some Time and read the constitution, then rethink your thoughts, if anyone is following the constitution it’s not the progressive (lazy communist) party or a vast majority of the fake republicans, Justin, Jeff flake, John McCain and many more, not to long ago this president was a N.Y. liberal that everyone loved, most of them crawled into trump tower begging for donations, What changed his mind ? Ever hear about the 16yr plan to completely destroy this country ? You WOKE and not awake ? Figures

  • Content Awaiting Moderation

    What planet is Amash living on? Trying to get the Republican Party to accomplish anything is like herding cats. I’d love to see a little of this alleged “partisanship”. Instead Republican constituents get stuck with back stabbing RINOs like Romney, McCain, Flake, Ben Sasse, Paul Ryan, Amash, etc. If you want to see hyper-partisanship go look at the other side of the aisle. There’s a reason you never hear the term DINO.

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