Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.) made another case for his White House bid Friday, arguing there is not “one shred of evidence” that President Biden can win against former President Trump in the 2024 election.
Phillips, in an interview with NewsNation’s Dan Abrams, said people aren’t taking his candidacy seriously because he isn’t as widely known and people are used to a duopoly.
The Minnesota Democrat claimed people are used to “the political industrial complex that is always focused on a coronation, not really accustomed to a competition, particularly when you have an incumbent president, but this is an unusual time.”
The lawmaker added that he thinks people who are not alarmed about Trump’s chances of winning reelection are being delusional — and that’s why he is running. Phillips, who likes Biden but doesn’t foresee him doing well, said he tried for a year to encourage Biden to “pass the touch” and to get other better-known candidates to step up.
“This is what you do in democracy, you practice by actually having competitions, so it’s going to take some time for that delusion to pass but I’ve seen not one shred of evidence, not one shred, that Joe Biden is in position to beat Donald Trump, not one,” Phillips said.
On the campaign trail, the long-shot candidate said he has only encountered three people who have said they are happy with either of the likely two party front-runners.
Phillips, who announced in November that he wouldn’t seek reelection to the House, argued that Biden should “thoughtfully exit” the 2024 race, telling Abrams that Biden knowingly running against “the most dangerous man in the world” and losing to him in all of the battleground states with historically low approval numbers is a threat to democracy.
“If I were President Biden, and I cared about democracy — and I believe he does — he should do one of two things either thoughtfully exit the stage or invite other candidates to do it,” he said.
Abrams also asked Phillips about his net worth and how he became “a rich guy. Phillips, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, is an heir to his stepfather’s Phillips Distilling company empire and also ran the gelato company Talenti.
The outgoing lawmaker said he knows what it takes to bring together brands, and people, that clash. He wants to do that with Democrats and Republicans because the system leaves “voters in the dust.”
He claimed in the interview that this is why he feels “it’s important for me to focus on listening to people and not raising money exclusively.”
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