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Thaddeus McCotter jumps into presidential race. Thaddeus who?

US Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan says he's running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. His biggest challenge is name recognition.

By Staff writer / July 2, 2011

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., during a 2009 news conference on health care reform.

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Thaddeus McCotter, a US Representative from Michigan whose agenda appeals to tea party activists, announced his bid Saturday to win the Republican presidential nomination.

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Rep. McCotter champions lower federal taxes, energy independence from foreign sources of oil, he is against illegal immigrants receiving government benefits and he endorses the concept of American “exceptionalism” regarding foreign policy.

His candidacy promises to be unorthodox compared to the growing field of competitors in his party.

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McCotter launched his campaign at a rock festival in Whitmore Lake, Mich. and later demonstrated his lead guitar skills onstage. His musicianship is key to helping generate attention: He is often pictured with his guitar in hand and has performed at appearances, such as Mike Huckabee’s Fox News television show, where policy discussion and fret shredding are inseparable.

Musical pedigree aside, McCotter’s connection to the automotive industry is likely to give his economic agenda merit.

He lives in Livonia, Mich., and he represents a suburban district outside Detroit. His seat on the House Financial Services Committee is credited for helping restructure General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group, rescuing both companies from bankruptcy through government loans.

“If you believe American needs manufacturing and farming, that is going to be a message you will hear,” he told the Detroit News Friday.

McCotter says he supported the federal government’s hand in helping both companies recover and adds that their restructuring can be used as an example of what can be done to Social Security and the banking system.

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