Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips has signaled that he is planning on running against President Joe Biden in 2024, Politico reported Thursday.
Phillips has been considering a White House bid for months, and relayed his aspirations to run to House colleagues, two sources familiar told Politico. The congressman has signaled that he’s inching toward a presidential campaign, as the outlet reports that he reached out to the New Hampshire Democratic Party last week and approached potential staffers to bolster his expected efforts in the key early state.
Another source familiar, who recently spoke with Phillips, told Politico that the congressman said “we’ll see” when asked if he is going to run against Biden.
The lawmaker is worried about Biden’s electability and the lack of alternatives in the Democratic primary field, and has also expressed concern about the president’s age.
The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 national Democratic primary, based on polls conducted between Sept. 8 and Oct. 7, indicates Biden is leading the small field with 61.3% support, followed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who recently switched his campaign to run as an independent, at 14.5%, and Marianne Williamson at 4%.
“It’s important for Democracy to have choices, to have competition, particularly in light of what I’m reading — the polling, the data — and what I’m sensing in my own intuition. And I’m concerned,” Phillips told podcaster podcaster Steve Schmidt in late September. “I’m concerned that there is no alternative. I’m concerned that something could happen between now and next November that would make the Democratic Convention in Chicago an unmitigated disaster. And for a party that is acting as the adults in the room, thank goodness, I’m concerned that we are not as it relates to our electoral strategy. So I’m considering it.”
A series of recent polls suggest that former President Donald Trump, who is leading the Republican primary field for president by over 40 points nationally, would beat Biden in several key battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and across numerous others.
Phillips stepped down from his leadership position in the House Democratic Caucus as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, citing his “convictions” about the 2024 race.
“While politics & official work do not mix, it’s clear my convictions about 2024 are incongruent with the position of my colleagues & that was causing discomfort. I was not pressured or forced to resign,” Phillips wrote on Twitter Oct. 1. “To the contrary, [Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries] has provided space & place for all perspectives, and I celebrate him and our DPCC Chair, [Rep. Joe Neguse] for their authentic & principled leadership. I’ll continue to put people over politics, and ask our Congress and country join me. Onward!”
Neither Phillips’ political campaign nor Biden’s campaign immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
Mary Lou Masters on October 20, 2023