The libertarian Republican from Michigan, Justin Amash, has endorsed Ted Cruz for president.
In an op-ed in Independent Journal Review, Amash first praised Rand Paul calling him the ‘most passionate defender of our rights on the national stage,’ lamenting that Paul has dropped out of the race.
He asks, “what now?”
It’s easy to withdraw from politics when the positions and priorities of the candidates do not precisely mirror our own. But we owe it to our beliefs to find constitutional conservative political allies who not only respect our philosophy but also fight for our views to be heard.
We have found such an ally in Senator Ted Cruz.
Amash doesn’t mince words. He acknowledges that Ted Cruz is not a libertarian nor claims to be. However, Amash argues that Cruz is “a principled defender of the Constitution, a brilliant strategist and debater who can defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election, and the only remaining candidate I trust to take on what he correctly calls the Washington Cartel.”
Amash also points out that the next president will likely have to appoint numerous Supreme Court Justices and makes the case that Ted Cruz is unquestionably the most qualified candidate to do so.
The recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia reminds us of the importance of electing a president committed to nominating justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Because the Court has not lost a conservative in many years, this selection may become the most influential act of the next president. Replacing Justice Scalia with a poorly chosen justice could alter our country’s identity on critical issues such as education, health care, criminal justice, privacy, and even the very meaning of the Constitution.
In this regard, history has given us a uniquely qualified candidate—Ted Cruz served as a Supreme Court clerk (an extraordinarily selective job held each year by fewer than 40 lawyers who work directly with the justices to shape the Court’s opinions) and has the rare distinction of having argued many cases before the Supreme Court. The importance of these credentials cannot be overstated in the current context.
Congressman Amash also hammered home that we need a president that will take on the “lobbyist class and the Washington elites.” While he concedes that libertarians and conservatives will not agree on every issue, Amash calls for unity.
An effective president for the people is going to face massive fights with the lobbyist class and Washington elites. It is not enough for a president to have smart advisers and well-rehearsed lines. Whether or not we agree on every issue, libertarian and conservative Republicans must choose a president who has the courage to stand up for the American people in the face of relentless attacks. Ted has shown that he is a true leader who can defend the principles of our constitutional republic, takes libertarian ideas seriously (even when he disagrees), and will not back down from the battles that must be fought.
He also applauded Cruz’s stance on cronyism and corporate welfare, highlighting that Cruz won Iowa even while opposing ethanol subsidies, even when Iowa’s popular governor was against him and “pundits warned nobody could win the state without pandering to the ethanol lobby.”
Amash paraded Cruz’s supporting of Paul’s amendment to kill the Cybersecurity Information Security Act of 2015 (CISA) and his opposition to Americans being indefinitely detained without a trial. On foreign policy, he cited Cruz’s opposition to both the Libyan War and the arming Syrian rebels.
To defend liberty, we must defend our Constitution. I’m supporting Ted because, knowing him personally and having served with him in Congress over the past few years, I trust him as a conservative ally who consistently listens to my perspective and stands firm for what he believes is right.