Dem Rep ‘Thinking’ of Primary Challenge Against Biden: ‘Concerned That Something Could Happen’

'I'm concerned that there is no alternative,' Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips said.

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
September 25, 2023

Minnesota representative Dean Phillips (D.) said Monday he is "thinking about" taking on President Joe Biden in a presidential primary, as the 80-year-old president's popularity is waning.

"I am thinking about it. I haven't ruled it out," the three-term congressman said in an interview with Steve Schmidt's podcast The Warning. "I'm concerned that there is no alternative. I'm concerned that something could happen between now and next November that would make the Democratic Convention in Chicago an unmitigated disaster."

The interview aired the day after the Washington Post published its latest election poll, which found Biden trailing former president Donald Trump by 10 percentage points should they face a rematch in 2024. Other recent polls found a Biden-Trump general election contest "a virtual dead heat." Biden's overall approval rating is at 37 percent, with many citing his failed economic policy and lack of mental fitness.

Phillips added in the interview that there may be people "better prepared to campaign" than him, and that he has urged other Democratic leaders to jump into the race. In August he said he "would like to see Joe Biden, a wonderful and remarkable man, pass the torch."

"This is not how everybody thinks, but I do believe the majority wants to move on," Phillips added, emphasizing his views are not based on the president's age but "how people feel."

Now, Phillips himself may vie for the position and join Democrats Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, whose long-shot presidential bids have yet to make a splash in the polls.

Phillips accused his party of not "acting as the adults in the room" in how they are handling their "electoral strategy."