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Amash Lashes Out at Establishment Opponents in Primary Victory Speech

And also in Michigan, a third GOP House incumbent falls as Romney-backed challenger beats a pro-impeachment congressman. (For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)

by
Rod Kackley

Bio

August 6, 2014 - 9:09 am
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The national political media — along with chambers of commerce and other GOP establishment types in Michigan, as well as their Tea Party counterparts — were watching two Republican congressional primaries closer than the rest on Tuesday.

Both featured congressmen who were backed by the Tea Party supporters in their districts on either side of the state of Michigan: Justin Amash on the west side of the state and Kerry Bentivolio in southeast Michigan.

Amash vs. Ellis

The campaign for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District represented by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) got very personal.

So, Amash didn’t hesitate to name names after he won the primary 57-43 percent.

Amash went after former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who used to be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee while representing Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District and endorsed Amash’s primary opponent, businessman Brian Ellis.

“Lobbyist Pete Hoekstra: you are a disgrace and I am glad we could hand you one more loss before you fade into total obscurity and irrelevance,” said Amash.

Ellis, who loaned his campaign $1 million, spent most of that money pushing the idea that Amash was not conservative enough for his district, which was drawn to be as blazing Republican Red as possible.

He ran a series of 28 “Bizarre Votes” TV ads criticizing Amash’s record and one referring to Amash as “al-Qaeda’s best friend in Congress,” drowning out any attempt to explain what Ellis would do as the district’s new congressman.

To Ellis, Amash said, “You owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable, smear campaign. I ran for office to stop people like you.”

Amash, who lost some choice House committee assignments because of his refusal to back Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), made it clear in his victory speech that vanquishing the “political elite” establishment in his district that includes Grand Rapids, Mich., is what his campaign was all about.

“With the number of establishment interest groups that were against me, this is a really gigantic margin of victory,” he told a cheering crowd. “People want us to stand up for liberty, freedom and the Constitution and said it loud and clear.”

Late in the campaign, the biggest newspaper in Amash’s district, The Grand Rapids Press, endorsed the two-term incumbent while at the same time taking a slap at his record of rebellion.

“Though Amash is at times independent to a fault, his efforts to change the culture of a broken Washington are welcome,” the paper’s editorial board wrote.

All of the other establishment players in Amash’s district, even the mayor of Grand Rapids, George Heartwell, endorsed Ellis.

However, Amash still had the support of the richest family in the district and one of the richest in the world, the family of Dick DeVos, one of the heirs to the Amway Corp. fortune.

Amash said endorsements and big money didn’t matter. In the end it came down to “lawn signs and grass-roots support. I think this is going to send shock waves through the nation.”

Ellis left a voicemail congratulating Amash on the win. On Election Night, Amash didn’t sound like he had any intention of returning that call.

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Top Rated Comments   
Class? Someone calls you the best friend of Al Qaeda and smears your name and you want to let it drop? In the old days you would have been lion meat in the arena.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
After what the GOP Estab did in Mississippi, they deserve what Amash and anyone else can throw at them. To call them disgusting, despicable, and beneath contempt just barely scratches the surface. They probably didn't call Amash racist because of his own background and/or the nature of his district.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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Go Justin! Keep sticking it to The Man.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not to mention that too wierd is just too wierd.
Ron Paul says some good things, then makes some statement that makes one think he should be committed for his own good.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Justin Amash was one of only (3) Republicans to vote against toughening sanctions against Iran for their quest to make nukes. That puts him in Obama's camp. Why would a Republican do that?

Makes you wonder:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2013/h427
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
First you call him a Palestinian, then you say he's pro-obama. Why the smear tactics?
He's primarily a libertarian. Libertarians believe in freedom. Against aggression, against statist over reach from EITHER side of the aisle.
Our government has become fascistic in its actions against its own citizens and against other countries. Mr. Amash is one of the few people who is trying to do something about it.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Iran gets nukes the world be an extremely dangerous place. Amash and you appear not to care. Obama opposed this bill and Amash helped him out. Damn straight he's in Obama's camp. So are you. When you get beheaded by your Muslim friends I will drink a toast. Maybe two.

6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
After what the GOP Estab did in Mississippi, they deserve what Amash and anyone else can throw at them. To call them disgusting, despicable, and beneath contempt just barely scratches the surface. They probably didn't call Amash racist because of his own background and/or the nature of his district.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's more news coming out today from Mississippi; allegations that a McDaniel staffer paid a minister to lie, to say that the Cochran campaign had paid him to tell or pay people to vote for Cochran. Looks like sleaze on both sides of that race, if the new allegations are true.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, the GOP establishment smearing Amash is what lacks class. At least the corrupt, progressive GOP establishment didn't smear GOP voters as racists to get democrats to vote in this primary. So I guess that is some progress.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amash may have won, and he may have been targeted with very negative ads...but this shows a complete lack of class.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree. It's time to start calling out the lying cheating, dirty tricksters for what they are. Shame them publicly. Playing nice doesn't work with those crooks.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
The time for calling out liars and cheaters is during the campaign or after the campaign. A victory speech should show grace. I'm not saying he needs to praise his opponent or anybody in his victory speech...he need not even mention them. But here he behaved like a low-class bore.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with inspectorudy. This false demand for civility from liars who slander is just a sucker ploy to disarm in the face of being attacked.

If people in this country are angry, it makes sense they would start talking like they are angry.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would rather that those people SPEAK civilly and VOTE their anger. Just sayin'.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Class? Someone calls you the best friend of Al Qaeda and smears your name and you want to let it drop? In the old days you would have been lion meat in the arena.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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