Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.) said Friday those who think he’s undermining President Biden’s election chances are overestimating his power in an interview that aired Friday.
“[Y]ou’re giving me a lot more power than I really have,” Phillips said during an interview with NBC News White House Correspondent Mike Memoli. “The reason I did this is because Joe Biden cannot win this next election. He was the only one that could have won in 2020. He’s probably the only one that can lose this in 2024.”
Phillips then said it wasn’t his fault that Biden has low approval numbers and is struggling in polling in battleground states and nationally. He also highlighted concerns around Biden and former President Trump’s ages but noted he hasn’t “opined around the whole country about it.”
“That’s not me,” Phillips continued. “I’m running because we need an alternative. And shame on Democrats who might say that we should not give voters an option. That is antithetical to the very democracy that we are supposed to be protecting. That’s what I would say, and they know it. They’re afraid to say it.”
Late last month, the House member said there is not “one shred of evidence” that Biden can win against the former president. Phillips said he attempted for a year to get the president to “pass the torch.”
“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.
Phillips said Biden should “thoughtfully exit” this year’s presidential race, saying the president intentionally going up against “the most dangerous man in the world” and losing all battleground states to him, alongside having bad approval numbers, risks 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.