Former Republicans create group to defend Amash
A group of former Republicans on Wednesday announced the creation of an organization intended to protect Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) going into his 2020 reelection race.
Country Above Party, an independent federal Super PAC, was formed to “keep Justin Amash the only Independent in Congress” after threats from the president to try to unseat him next year over his staunch criticism of the White House and his defection from the GOP.
Amash is also expected to vote to impeach President Trump later on Wednesday when the House votes on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“I don’t agree with him on every issue, but I think Washington needs more Justin Amashes,” said Jeff Timmer, a longtime political consultant and former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party who led former Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) 2016 presidential campaign, in the statement by the group.
Amash angered Republicans this year with his frequent criticism of Trump’s character and rhetoric, leading to his removal from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which he co-founded.
He later announced he would become an Independent and separately said he supports impeaching Trump over his dealings with Ukraine, though he has maintained staunchly conservative bona fides in Congress
Amash’s broadsides have infuriated Trump, who has reportedly floated supporting a Republican opponent to try to unseat Amash. The president is set to hold a campaign rally in Amash’s district Wednesday night after the House’s impeachment vote.
“Allowing him to be swept aside in favor of a craven Trump apparatchik will further coarsen our politics and threaten the rule of law,” said Rick Wilson, a GOP campaign strategist and media consultant who frequently criticizes the president, in the statement.
“We don’t expect that any elected Republicans or Democrats will join us. However, we know there are tens of thousands of like-minded patriots – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – who will vote in Amash’s Michigan 3rd Congressional District next November,” added John Weaver, who has served in senior roles in the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush, John McCain and Kasich.
Amash won reelection last year by just over 11 points in his western Michigan district. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates his seat as a “toss up.”