On Friday, Democratic Representative Dean Phillips launched an independent presidential bid in New Hampshire, warning that Democrats should not select President Biden for a second term because he stands a good chance of losing to Donald Trump in 2024.
“I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America,” the 54-year-old Phillips (D-Minn.) told onlookers outside the State House in Concord. “The America I love and the America that I know all of you love.”
Phillips waited until the last day he could register for the New Hampshire primary ballot before entering the 2024 race.
Before entering the 2024 contest, Phillips waited until the final possible day to qualify for the New Hampshire primary ballot.
“I didn’t set out to enter this race,” Phillips said. “But it looks like on our current course, the Democrats will lose and Trump will be our president again. President Biden is a good man and someone I tremendously respect. I understand why other Democrats don’t want to run against him, and why we are here.”
It would appear like New Hampshire is Phillips’ best chance to make an early impact on the campaign.
Biden will not appear on the New Hampshire primary ballot due to the state’s disputes with the Democratic National Committee over a revised primary calendar that vaults South Carolina into the first-in-the-nation slot — ending New Hampshire’s century-long run as the leadoff Democratic contest.
Former New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff, who has distanced himself from Biden, said he has spoken with Phillips twice and thinks the congressman may appeal to those Democrats and independents who have the option to vote in the primary.
“I like Biden and have a lot of respect for him. But I’m disappointed that he and the DNC have tried to take away our primary,” Shurtleff told the Associated Press. “It’s not that I want to see Joe lose. It’s that I want to see our primary win.”
Phillips has repeatedly made the case for Biden to step aside after a single term for a “new generation” of Democrats, telling “CBS Mornings” in an interview that aired Friday that “I think President Biden has done a spectacular job for our country, but it’s not about the past. This is an election about the future.”
In a campaign video posted online, Phillips promises to traipse through the snow to greet voters and “fix the economy,” a swipe at Biden, who has made the slogan “Bidenomics” central to his re-election bid.
Phillips has stated that the economy, crime, “generational change,” and a less polarized political climate will be the four pillars of his campaign.
“This is a last-minute campaign, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and courage is an important value to me,” he said in his announcement statement on X. “If President Biden is the Democratic nominee, we face an unacceptable risk of Trump being back in the White House. I know this campaign is a long shot, but that is why I think it is important and worth doing.”
In response to Phillips’ campaign, Biden’s camp said that the vice president enjoys “historic, unified support from across the Democratic Party for his re-election.”
“The stakes of next year’s election could not be higher for the American people,” Biden 2024 rep Kevin Munoz said in a statement, “and the campaign is hard at work mobilizing the winning coalition that President Biden can uniquely bring together to once again beat the MAGA Republicans next November.”
The Democratic governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, sent out a fundraising email for Joe Biden’s re-election campaign with the subject line “Minnesotans love Joe Biden” just before Phillips made his announcement, in which he indirectly criticized Phillips by saying that some Minnesotans “make political side shows for themselves.”
Two of the most common descriptors for Biden in a recent AP-NORC poll were “old” and “confused.”
The majority of Americans (77%) and Democrats (70%) agree that Biden is too old to be an effective president for another four years.