Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Joe Biden | amash | gary johnson | libertarian

Ex-Libertarian Nominee Gary Johnson Hails Rep. Amash's Presidential Bid

gary johnson in a suit speaks at a luncheon in d.c.
Former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson (Molly Riley/Getty Images)

By Monday, 04 May 2020 09:45 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Within days of announcing he was forming an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash got an early boost from the party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax Friday, former two-term New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said that Amash — who began exploring a Libertarian bid for president last week— “brings a lot to the table. He’s easily the strongest candidate the Libertarians could field.”

Johnson, 67, drew 1.3 million votes for president in 2012 and, in 2016, drew 4.5 million votes, which at 3.27% of the vote, was the best performance of a Libertarian since the party began fielding presidential candidates in 1972.

Like Johnson himself, five-term lawmaker Amash left the Republican Party last year and most recently emerged as a Libertarian. Earlier this year, he received national attention as the only U.S. House Member to vote for Donald Trump’s impeachment who was not a Democrat.

“I’ve met Amash on several occasions, and I was impressed,” Johnson told us. He particularly cited the fact that the Grand Rapids-area lawmaker is relinquishing his House seat to make a bid for president that most observers consider quixotic.

But Johnson and others are hopeful that Amash can reach the 5% threshold that will qualify the Libertarians for federal matching funds that will allow them to compete with Republicans and Democrats in future campaigns.

According to the Congressional Research Service report “Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns: Overview and Analysis,” “New third parties may receive limited public financing retroactively if they receive at least five percent of the popular vote in the general election, meaning that they are ineligible for funds until after the campaign concludes.”

Like most Libertarians, Johnson believes his party’s candidates draw from both of the major parties equally. He did, however, predict that this year, former Republican Amash “could hurt Trump more than Biden.”

Many Trump supporters who spoke to Newsmax believe the opposite: that anyone who votes for a former Republican who supported Trump’s impeachment would never have considered voting to reelect the president in the first place.

Johnson spoke to us as he was training for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route race on June 12, in which bikers cover 2,800 miles in 25 days.

“I hope the virus doesn’t cancel it,” the longtime biking enthusiast told us.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Within days of announcing he was forming an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination for President, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash got an early boost from the party's 2012 and '16 nominee. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax Friday, Johnson...
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2020-45-04
Monday, 04 May 2020 09:45 AM
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