- 35% of Democrats in a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll said they want Biden to run in 2024.
- Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., called on a “new generation” of “dynamic Democrats” to step up.
- The congressman said most of his Democratic colleagues “feel the same.”
WASHINGTON— US Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn.said he does not want President Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024, giving the most forceful remarks yet from a Democratic member of Congress calling for a new party standard-bearer.
What’s more, the congressman said most of his Democratic colleagues“feel the same” though he did not provide names.
What the congressman said
- “I have respect for Joe Biden,” Phillips said Thursday in a radio interview on WCCO’s “The Chad Hartman Show” when asked if he wants Biden, 79, to run for re-election. “Despite some mistakes and some missteps, despite his age – I think he’s a man of decency, of good principle of compassion of empathy, and of strength.”
- “But to answer your question directly, which I know is quite rare,” he added. “No, I don’t. I think the country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up.”
- Phillips said he believes “political competition would be healthy” and “we should never pre-anoint anybody.” He said Biden “served our country admirably with principle and with decency at a time when we surely needed it.” But he called for “generational change,” pointing to the age of Biden and other Democratic leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 82 years old and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is 83.
- “I’m optimistic, so, yes, the answer is most of my colleagues I do believe feels the same,” he said. What’s most important, he said, is that Democrats do not let Donald Trump “or one of his minions” return to the White House.
Voters want new choices:Exclusive: To Biden vs. Trump rematch in 2024? Two-thirds of Americans say no thanks
- For the past year, Biden has battled low approval ratings that have dropped below 40% in many surveys. His standing among Democrats has declined, with half of them saying in a recent poll they would prefer a new candidate in 2024.
- Only 35% of Democratic voters surveyed ina new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll said they want Biden to run again in 2024, compared to 50% who said they don’t. Fifteen percent of Democrats were undecided.
- Biden could face more pressure to bow out of a reelection bid if Democrats lose control of Congress during November’s midterm elections.
- The rising profiles of other prominent Democrats, including Illinois Gov. JD Pritzker and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, have stoked speculation on whether they might consider 2024 bids. Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg could also be contenders if Biden chooses not to run.
What others are saying
- Biden and White House officials have said repeatedly that Biden will run again in 2024 in a push to tamp down outside speculation.
- “The president intends to run in 2024,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to Phillips’ comments. She said Biden is focused on new legislation to fight inflation and other economic initiatives. “Those are the things that we’re going to continue to focus on and much more. So right now, 2024 is so far away.”
- Phillips’ remarks went farther than those of House progressive Democrats who have criticized parts of Biden’s agenda and remained noncommittal about Biden in 2024.
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., told CNN last month that “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.” Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., told a reporter this week, “I don’t want to answer that question,” when asked if she supports another Biden run. Unlike Phillips, neither have said Biden should forgo a reelection bid.
Who is Dean Phillips?
Phillips, 53, is a vice chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan, moderate House coalition. Phillips, first elected in 2016, represents Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district, which includes suburbs east of Minneapolis. The district was once a Republican stronghold but has shifted Democratic. Phillips won his 2020 reelection 55%-44% over Republican Kendall Qualls. Phillips, a businessman and heir of Minnesota’s Phillips Distilling Co., is one of the richest members of Congressaccording to Open Secrets.
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @Joeygarrison.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism