Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) announced Sunday he’s stepping down from his House leadership position after he voiced concerns about his party’s support for President Joe Biden’s reelection and after he suggested he might himself run for president in 2024.
While he is pleased with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’s (D-N.Y.) leadership, Mr. Phillips said Sunday that his “convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership.”
“I celebrate Leader (Hakeem) Jeffries for his remarkable and principled leadership, and extend gratitude to my outstanding friends and colleagues for having created space and place for my perspectives,” added Mr. Philips, who had been a co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, in the statement Sunday. “I’ll continue to abide by my convictions, place people over politics, and support our shared mission to deliver security, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans. Onward!”
For months, Mr. Phillips, who media outlets describe as a “moderate” Democrat, has said that he isn’t pleased with President Biden’s reelection bid and said he shouldn’t be running, citing what he believes is a need for a younger generation of political leadership. He’s one of few elected Democrats at the federal level who openly supports a competitive process for the party’s presidential nomination.
A spokesperson for the Minnesota Democrat’s office told The Hill that he’ll remain in his congressional seat and will be a member of the Democratic caucus. No other details were provided.
In August, Mr. Phillips said that other Democrats should try to “jump in” to the presidential race, saying that recent polls show that most Democrats would prefer another person to President Biden.
I have decided to step down from the DPCC & Democratic Caucus leadership. While politics & official work do not mix, it’s clear my convictions about 2024 are incongruent with the position of my colleagues & that was causing discomfort. I was not pressured or forced to resign. 1/2
— Rep. Dean Phillips ?? (@RepDeanPhillips) October 1, 2023
The president is facing two Democratic challenges from author Marianne Williamson and vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr., although Mr. Kennedy is slated to make a major announcement on Oct. 9 amid speculation that he could run for a third-party ticket.
“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,” Mr. Phillips said in August.
Last week, the Democrat said he still hasn’t ruled out such a bid. “I am thinking about it. I haven’t ruled it out,” Mr. Phillips said during “The Warning” podcast, adding that there are others who are “better prepared to campaign with national organizations, national name recognition, which I do not possess.”
Mr. Phillips added in the podcast interview that he is “concerned that something could happen between now and next November that would make the Democratic Convention in Chicago an unmitigated disaster.”
According to an anonymously sourced report published by Axios, Mr. Phillips’s decision Sunday could have been triggered by intraparty fighting. In an internal meeting last week, Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.) reportedly asked why he was veering off-message and suggesting a run against President Biden in 2024, which drew applause from other Democrats.
Aside from his sentiment against President Biden’s run, Mr. Phillips was the first Democrat to call on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign from office after he was indicted on corruption charges in September, reported the Washington Examiner. Several Democrats have since called for his resignation, although members of the Senate and House leadership have not publicly done so.
Meanwhile, a recent poll from CNN and SSRS shows that a significant majority of Americans, or 73 percent, are worried about President Biden’s age and believe it may affect its mental acuity, while 76 percent were concerned about his capacity to serve another full term in office. If reelected next year, President Biden would be 87 years old upon leaving office in January 2029.
However, the president has shrugged off concerns about his age amid his 2024 White House bid.
Americans are “going to see a race, and they’re going to judge whether or not I have it or don’t have it. I respect them taking a hard look at it,” President Biden said in April when answering questions from media outlets about his age. “I take a hard look at it as well … I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good, I feel excited about the prospects.”
From The Epoch Times