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A Democratic congressman has made good on a previous pledge to challenge an aging President Joe Biden for the 2024 Democratic nomination, despite the national party’s refusal to schedule any debates.
Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota announced his run during a CBS News interview that aired Thursday evening, according to the Daily Caller.
For months, Phillips has been teasing a presidential run, citing Biden’s age and his electability. He formally made the announcement during an interview with CBS News’ Robert Costa, arguing that 2024 needs to be “about the future.”
“I am. I have to,” Phillips told the anchor when asked if he was running. “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. I will not sit still, I will not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying that we’re going to be facing an emergency next November.”
The DC added:
Phillips was one of the first elected Democrats to warn against Biden running for reelection when he called for a “generational change” in July 2022. The congressman has also expressed concern that Biden’s candidacy could hand the White House back to former President Donald Trump, who has been leading the president for a potential 2024 rematch in a series of recent national and battleground state polls.
BREAKING: Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) is running for president, challenging Pres. Biden in the Democratic primary race.
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) October 27, 2023
Earlier this week, Politico reported that Phillips “has begun making calls to Democratic operatives and officials in New Hampshire, the latest step he’s taken toward launching a primary challenge against” Biden.
Phillips called New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley late last week to introduce himself; Politico added that Phillips confirmed the phone call to the outlet.
“I called Chairman Buckley yesterday to introduce myself as I contemplate entering the Democratic primary,” he said. “It was a very friendly conversation.”
In addition, he said he also contacted potential staffers in New Hampshire.
Politico noted that Phillips has frequently, in the recent past, called for someone to challenge Biden, who he feels is too old to serve another term:
The Minnesota Democrat has regularly called for Biden to face a 2024 primary challenger, criticizing the president for not “pass[ing] the torch” to the next generation of Democratic leaders. Phillips withdrew from House Democratic leadership earlier this month, amid concern that his flirtation with a primary bid was causing a distraction. He has met with Democratic donors over the summer about a potential run.
“He’s doing the things you would do if you’re running — or if you’ve not officially decided and you’re trying to check what the reception would be,” a New Hampshire Democratic political operative told Politico on condition of anonymity.
In August, Biden’s reelection campaign, such as it is, got off to a rocky start, just as new allegations of corruption and scandal engulf him and his son, Hunter Biden.
Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodríguez on Friday canceled an MSNBC interview following U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement that he appointed a questionable U.S. attorney as special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals, The New York Times reported.
The Times reported that the campaign canceled the interview so it could “avoid facing a litany of questions about the president’s son, according to two people familiar with the scheduling.”
The cancellation led The Western Journal to note: “It’s a bad sign when the Biden camp dodges a left-wing cable network with a history of feeding softball questions to Democrats.”
“This is exactly, exactly why, I’m trying to raise the alarm,” Phillips told Politico at the time, following the special counsel appointment of U.S. Attorney David Weiss to investigate Hunter Biden. “It is another reason why I wish this call to action that I’m trying to inject into the Democratic Party would be heard.”