Independent Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, whose father is a Palestinian Christian, teased on Monday evening that he is looking "closely" at a third-party presidential bid to help remove U.S. President Donald Trump from office.
Amash, a fierce critic of Trump, was once a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, but left the Republican Party last July and voted to impeach Trump this year.
Amash’s comments came on Twitter in response to Trump claiming his "authority is total" during his latest coronavirus task force briefing. Amash quoted the president on Twitter and wrote, “Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option.”
One Twitter user then replied, "Please be you." Amash replied, "Thanks. I’m looking at it closely this week."
Amash was first reported to be weighing a run against Trump last May and could prove to be a potent spoiler for the president as the libertarian-leaning conservative could peel away key votes from Trump – particularly in the Midwest where Trump won states by razor-thin margins in 2016.
Trump claimed the “total” authority to decide how and when to reopen the economy after weeks of tough social distancing guidelines aimed at fighting the new coronavirus. But governors from both parties were quick to push back, noting they have primary responsibility for ensuring public safety in their states and would decide when it’s safe to begin a return to normal operations.
“When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said Monday at the White House. “The governors know that.”
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Reuters contributed to this article