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 AmashHouse Armed Services chairman calls for removal of Navy chief Overnight Defense: Trump 'may look into' dismissal of Navy captain | Acting Navy chief stands by speech calling ousted captain 'stupid' | Dems call for chief's firing | Hospital ship to take coronavirus patients Democratic lawmakers call for Navy chief's firing MORE (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party in July, said former South Carolina Gov. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries Boston Globe endorses Trump's GOP challenger Bill Weld Trump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid MORE’s (R) decision to launch a primary bid against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos 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) WallacePublic health officials warn of grim days ahead: 'This next week is going to look bad' Whitmer: Lack of national coronavirus strategy 'creating a more porous situation' Bill Gates: Coronavirus numbers will likely plateau by month's end if we quarantine 'well enough' 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.