President Donald Trump mocked Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) in a Wednesday tweet following the latter’s decision to announce an exploratory committee for President.
Trump sarcastically described Amash as a “wonderful candidate” in the tweet, before going on to ridicule him as a failed politician.
“I think Amash would make a wonderful candidate, especially since he is way behind in his district and has no chance of maintaining his Congressional seat,” Trump wrote. “He almost always votes for the Do Nothing Dems anyway. I like him even more than Jill Stein!”
Former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein was criticized by Democrats in 2016 for drawing votes away from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. This suggests Trump believes Amash’s candidacy could be to his benefit by splitting the anti-Trump vote.
Trump’s tweet was a reply to ‘Never Trump’ strategist Rick Wilson sharing an op-ed by former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) on Amash’s candidacy. Walsh’s op-ed praised Amash as an individual and offered to help set up a new political party involving the two men, but suggested Amash’s candidacy could help Trump win the November election.
“Amash can’t win,” Walsh wrote. “But he can siphon enough votes from the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, to hand the election to Trump.”
“If Amash gets the Libertarian nomination and stays in until the end, he could wind up going in the books as the guy who voted to impeach Trump one year, then tipped the election to him 11 months later.”
That said, there are signs Amash could do damage to Trump’s campaign rather than Biden’s. 2016 Libertarian vice presidential nominee, Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), has claimed that his ticket took far more votes away from Trump than from Hillary, as both targeted the same right-of-center voting base.