House Democrat says there's still time for someone to try to deny Joe Biden the party's nomination: 'The country is begging for alternatives'

  • Rep. Dean Phillips still hasn't ruled out launching a primary challenge against President Joe Biden.

  • But he still says he's not the best candidate, and that there's still time for someone else to do it.

  • "I recognize there'd be laughter, there'd be distaste, there would be disgust," he said of his own bid.

Rep. Dean Phillips still thinks there's time to deny President Joe Biden the Democratic nomination for 2024.

"I do still think there's some time for somebody to enter," the Minnesota Democrat said in an interview with Steve Schmidt that was first shared with POLITICO on Monday. "I'm still encouraging others who I think are better prepared right now to run a great campaign. But I have thought about it."

Phillips has been publicly mulling his own campaign against the sitting president for nearly two months, and he made clear in the interview that he hasn't ruled it out. But he still insists that there are better candidates for the job.

"I think there are people who are more proximate, better prepared to campaign with national organization, national name recognition, which I do not possess," said Phillips. "But I do feel strongly, and I have a conviction that it's important, for democracy, to have choices."

Phillips has named Democratic governors, including Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Tim Walz of Minnesota, as being among the best-positioned candidates to take on Biden. Both remain supportive of the president's re-election campaign.

The Minnesota Democrat also said he recognizes that his own campaign would cause a stir among his colleagues, and Democrats more broadly.

"I recognize there'd be laughter, there'd be distaste, there would be disgust amongst many," said Phillips. "But I also have that sense that the country is begging for alternatives."

Phillips has said that he takes no issue with Biden's policies — he just worries that Biden may not be the best candidate to take on the GOP nominee, most likely former President Donald Trump, in 2024. He has said that Democrats could be "sleepwalking into the very circumstance of 2016," when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Over the weekend, a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News showed Trump leading Biden by 10 points, though the poll is likely to be an outlier, as other polls have shown a much tighter race between the two men.

A spokesman for the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

 

 

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