Rep. Dean Phillips hasn’t decided on challenging Biden, but he wants others to ‘jump in’ the race

Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota has not decided yet whether he’ll challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, but he’s encouraging others in the party to “jump in” the race.

“Democrats are telling me that they want, not a coronation, but they want a competition,” Phillips said on Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” citing polling from the New York Times that shows most Democrats would prefer someone other than Biden in the 2024 presidential race.

“If we don’t heed that call, shame on us. And the consequences, I believe, are going to be disastrous,” Phillips said. “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.”

Biden is currently facing intraparty challenges from the author Marianne Williamson and the lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Despite the president’s significant lead in the field, 64 percent of Democratic voters in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll said they would prefer someone other than Biden.

Phillips, a moderate Democrat, recently met with donors in New York to talk about a possible primary run. But on Sunday he said he had not yet decided whether he would launch a bid, and declined to give a timeline of when that decision could come.

“I think I’m well positioned to be president [of] the United States … I do not believe I’m well positioned to run for it right now,” he said.

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