Justin Amash

Briefly tell us about yourself and why you’re running for president.

I’m a fifth-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Libertarian ever to serve in Congress.

I’m running for president to secure the rights of the people and put individuals back in charge of their lives. Americans need to break free from the two-party system, and there’s a unique opportunity this year for a strong Libertarian candidate to win the presidency.

The old parties continue to erode our liberty and consolidate power in Washington. It’s essential that we get off this path, but after nine years in D.C., it has become clear that the current incentive structure makes it impossible to change the Republican or Democratic parties from within. Breaking the cycle means electing a president from outside those parties. This year presents a rare opportunity to do so: The president is unfit and unpopular, and the economy is weak, but Biden is not a strong challenger; he failed to win the Democratic nomination multiple times in the past, and he has an enormous amount of baggage that alienates him from parts of his party’s base. Both are vulnerable to a capable Libertarian candidate.

What are the top three issues your campaign will focus on?

My campaign is focused on securing rights, restoring fidelity to the Constitution, and promoting adherence to the Hayekian Rule of Law principle of equality before the law. Presented properly, these issues have broad appeal among voters across the political spectrum, and the other parties’ candidates have extremely poor records on them.

What would your pitch be to a lifelong Republican who is unhappy with Trump? What would your pitch be to a lifelong Democrat who is unhappy with Biden?

Each nominee has a terrible record on the positions their party claims to support, and they both embrace the current system in Washington that’s impeding progress on the issues their voters care about. Ignoring these facts by supporting Trump or Biden will encourage the parties to reject change and continue down this destructive path.

Biden played a key role in building up the federal drug war and restoring the federal death penalty, voted for brutal immigration policies, and was a major supporter of the Iraq War. Trump has massively increased federal spending, supported and enacted new limits on gun rights, and raised taxes through tariffs. Both candidates betray their promises to their voters, and neither candidate has demonstrated any commitment to changing the system that is incentivizing those betrayals.

What skills or lessons have you acquired from past campaigns or other involvement in politics?

I’ve spent over 11 years in elected office—two as a state representative and nine as a member of Congress. My life over the last decade has included six successful campaigns (and no losses); countless unscripted town halls with unscreened questions; reading, writing, and voting on complicated and sometimes controversial legislation; explaining my votes to voters and other interested persons on social media and elsewhere; and being regularly sought out for comment or participation by print and television media.

These experiences have helped make me a more skilled and credible communicator, legislator, and strategic thinker. I have public policy experience, and I’ve seen how government works (or doesn’t) firsthand. I’m not perfect, but I’m able to communicate complicated issues in a way people can understand. And I’ve won my elections, despite being an underdog at times, because I’ve developed a good understanding of what motivates people at home.

Tell us about your campaign organization.

My campaign is fresh, but my core team is made up of long-time staff that I know and trust. We are surrounded by other highly capable people offering advice and assistance, and countless volunteers already engaged on social media and elsewhere. I look forward to continuing to build my team with liberty-loving people who will contribute to a strong, successful campaign and the continued growth of the Libertarian Party.

How will nominating you impact Libertarians running viable campaigns for lower office?

I have likely already received more media attention in the short time since my announcement than the other presidential candidates have for the entirety of the race. This is not meant to disparage them, but my candidacy will draw attention to the party that others’ will not. I want to engage and excite people, and with the right message that shows people that they already share most of our principles, we can bring new people into the party who will vote for other Libertarians and may make outstanding future candidates themselves. I’ll be able to use my platform to bring attention to and campaign for those viable down-ballot candidates.

The Libertarian Party’s 2016 ticket received 4,489,341 votes, 3.3%. Will you improve on this in 2020, and how? Please be specific.

I intend to run a national campaign. The 2016 election involved two incredibly bad and unqualified candidates, but the 2020 election does, too. COVID-19 presents unique challenges for a political campaign, but also unique opportunities in that it levels the playing field on exposure. With sufficient name ID and the right message, there’s an opportunity not only to improve upon 2016’s result but also to win the election. I’m going to be everywhere (on TV, radio, and social media) showing voters that there is another option, and that that option is both credible and would actually improve the functioning of government in ways that would have a practical impact on their everyday lives.