Congressman Thad McCotter ends bid for U.S. president

Friday, September 23, 2011

McCotter plays guitar at his presidential announcement in July.
Image: Emily Bell.
McCotter speaking at the Ames Straw Poll in August.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan notified the The Detroit News yesterday that he would end his long-shot campaign for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. He threw his support behind former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

McCotter, who has represented Michigan's 11th congressional district since 2003, had announced his candidacy in early July. He reportedly paid $18,000 for campaign space at the Ames Straw Poll in August, but garnered only 35 votes and finished in last place at the event.

His campaign was unable to gain traction among the GOP base. He was excluded from all GOP presidential debates, a fact he emphasized when arguing that his campaign's fate "was sort of death by media." Elaborating this point, he remarked "if they keep you out of the debates, you are out of the conversation and you can't run."

McCotter decided to back Romney for president, believing he is the "most electable" GOP candidate because of his business background. Though he feels the current frontrunner, Texas governor Rick Perry, "may be a vice presidential nominee", he thinks the nation is not ready for another Texas governor to be president in the aftermath of the George W. Bush presidency.

Bill Ballenger of Inside Michigan Politics applauded McCotter's decision, remarking "He really had no business running for president. If he wants to have any political future, endorsing Mitt Romney now is the smart thing to do."

His neighbor, former Michigan attorney general Mike Cox, commented "He tried it out, obviously it wasn't working. And he's doing the rational thing and dropping out."

McCotter now plans to refocus his efforts on his re-election campaign for Congress. He is expected to face a primary challenge from State Senator Mike Kowall.