Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., on Sunday called for more Democrats to enter the 2024 primary against President Biden, making the argument that the party and the country are in “need of competition.”
Phillips declined to make an announcement about his own political aspirations during his appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” but called on other Democrats to challenge Biden.
“Democrats are telling me that they want, not a coronation, but they want a competition,” he said. “The New York Times poll from this week shows 55% of Democratic voters want some alternatives to the current people in the primary, 83% of those under 30. Democrats under 30 want alternatives, and about 76% are independents.”
“If we don’t heed that call, shame on us,” the congressman continued. “And the consequences, I believe, are going to be disastrous. So, my call is to those who are well-positioned, well-prepared, have good character and competency, they know who they are, to jump in because Democrats and the country need competition. It makes everything better. That’s my call to them right now.”
Phillips praised Biden as an “amazing man” who has “led this country through extraordinarily difficult times,” but he argued that the Democratic Party, which currently only has three candidates in the presidential primary, is doing the American people a disservice by not offering up more choices.
“We have 12 Republicans as options for Republican primary voters,” he said. “Right now, we only have three in the Democratic side. I believe in competition. We’re the Democratic Party. Democracy means the freedom to make choices, and we don’t have many of them.”
“I think he can [beat Trump],” he said of Biden. “But I think the only way to determine that, objectively, is to go through a process by the way before it’s too late.
Phillips said that while he considers himself “well-positioned” enough for the presidency, he doesn’t think he’s ready to “run for it right now.”
“I have not decided yet,” he said.
Phillips also said Vice President Harris is “absolutely qualified” for the job.
“In fact, I think she’s misportrayed,” he said. “I think everybody in this country should take a little bit of time and sit with people, observe them, know them before you draw conclusions. I think she is more competent and able than many people give her credit for. The job of the vice president is not an easy one.”
The Democratic National Committee and Biden campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
The DNC is fully backing Biden as the president campaigns for a second four-year term in the White House, and at its winter meeting in February, it unanimously passed a resolution to commit its “full and complete support” for the reelection of Biden and Harris.
The DNC has said there will be no primary debates between Biden and his two nationally known challengers, Marianne Williamson, a bestselling self-help author and speaker, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmental lawyer and high-profile vaccine critic who’s a scion of arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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