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

Amash says Sanford presidential bid won't impact decision on whether he runs in 2020
© Greg Nash

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall House votes to send impeachment articles to Senate Amash: Trump claim about US embassy threats 'seems to be totally made up' MORE (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party in July, said former South Carolina Gov. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE’s (R) decision to launch a primary bid against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE 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.”

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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 WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFox's Chris Wallace asks if Trump legal team filled with people who have their own axe to grind Chris Wallace: Pelosi plan to force 'McConnell to bow to her will' was a 'total failure' The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment week MORE 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 him 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.