CORRECTION: The original verison of this report had an incorrect byline.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., a five-term congressman who isn't well known on the national stage, is mulling a possible presidential run. "A decision hasn't been made, but it will be made soon.... I’m not going to put a timeline on it," he told the Daily Caller.
McCotter has been working his way into the inner circle of the Republican leadership since his early support of John Boehner, R-Ohio, for majority leader in 2006. As Cook Political Report's David Wasserman writes, McCotter has few options if he wants to continue to climb: "Republicans haven't broken through at the Senate level in Michigan. There is a Republican governor there at the moment ... there are very few options beside floating a candidacy for president."
If McCotter enters the race he faces an uphill battle from the start. He'll have to break through a field of well-known faces and catch up in fundraising—a feat that would be a "small miracle in and of itself." Here are eight things that will help you get to know this possible presidential candidate:
1. Not much of a challenge.
McCotter was elected to Congress in 2002 in a tight race against Redford Township Supervisor Kevin Kelley, a centrist Democrat who supported the Bush tax cuts. Since then McCotter has has faced weak opposition. He won reelection four times by unimpressive margins against under-financed opponents.
2. Plays a star-spangled guitar.
McCotter is the proud owner of a star-spangled Telecaster that he plays as lead guitar for the Second Amendments, a bipartisan rock band of House members that performs for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. McCotter has also been known to quote rock lyrics while on the House floor.
3. Wants to repeal health care reform.
McCotter voted against Obama's health care reform bill twice and even issued a statement with Boehner saying it would lead to, "government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law." McCotter made repealing health care reform, "one of his key stumping points," for his 2010 reelection bid.
4. Tried to disassemble the Republican Policy Committee.
In 2006, McCotter defeated Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., for chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. But in 2010, he provoked an internal GOP struggle by proposing to shut down the committee and use its $360,000 budget to reduce the deficit. Then-GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., stopped the plan and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., took over the committee.
5. Proposed a tax break for pet owners.
McCotter asked fellow members of Congress to join him in supporting H. R. 3501, the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act. The bill proposes to allow pet owners a $3,500 annual tax deduction for "qualified pet-care expenses."
6. Tough on trade.
McCotter opposes the Republican party's free-trade consensus. Currently every other presidential candidate in the field seems to agree with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's declaration that "we should not restrict trade."
7. Supports labor.
The union presence in McCotter's district has led him to sometimes support labor-related bills. He was one of 13 Republicans to vote for passage of an organized-labor bill to expedite union organization and was in favor of government intervention for General Motors and Chrysler.
8. Nudged to run by Fox News.
One of the first to encourage McCotter to enter the race was Fox News’s Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld. On his program Gutfeld asked McCotter to consider throwing his hat in the race, saying McCotter was one of the few politicians, "who seem less interested in impressing celebrities," than preserving freedoms.