Image: Thaddeus McCotter
Chip Somodevilla  /  Getty Images file
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, seen here at press conference in 2008, will seek the Republican nomination for president.
updated 7/1/2011 3:46:33 PM ET 2011-07-01T19:46:33

Thaddeus McCotter, an independent-minded congressman from Michigan, launched a longshot bid Friday for the 2012 Republican nomination to run for president.

The conservative from the Detroit suburbs unveiled a campaign website and told a Michigan radio station he would formally announce his candidacy Saturday.

"There are a lot of people out there worried the American dream is in danger," McCotter told WJR radio.

He said the other Republican candidates are "fine people" but are not prepared to seize the opportunity to challenge and defeat Democratic President Barack Obama.

"I believe I could," he said. "You're never going to know unless you get into the arena."

First Thoughts: Another summer of Obama's discontent?

McCotter, 45, is a rock'n'roll fan and guitar player known to quote song lyrics and at times challenge his own party leaders. He is a strong supporter of the car industry and backed the industry bailout.

He enters the Republican campaign with little name recognition or money and will be a heavy underdog to rivals like former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his fellow member of Congress, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

But McCotter, who has been traveling the country to gauge the potential for his candidacy, said he senses Republican voters are open to new candidates getting in the race. Bigger names like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Texas Governor Rick Perry are still considering bids.

The congressman said he will continue to serve in the House while he runs for office.

McCotter's website lists five core principles for his candidacy, including "our liberty is from God, not from government" and "our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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