House Dem Sounds Alarm on Lack of Challengers to Biden in Primary: ‘Shame on Us’

On Sunday, Democrat Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota called for more Democrats to enter the 2024 primary race against President Joe Biden and argued that the party and country are in “need of competition.”

During an appearance on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Phillips declined to make an announcement about his own political aspirations but called on other Democrats to challenge President Biden.

“Democrats are telling me what they want, not a coronation, but they want a competition,” said Phillips. “The New York Times poll from this week shows 55% of Democrat voters want some alternatives to the current people in the primary, 83% of those under 30. Democrats under 30 want alternatives, and about 76% are independents.”

“If we don’t heed that call, shame on us,” continued the congressman. “And the consequences, I believe, are going to be disastrous. So, my call is to those well-positioned and well-prepared who have good character and competency; they know who they are to jump in because Democrats and the country need competition. It makes everything better. That’s my call to them right now.”

Phillips: Only three candidates is a ‘disservice” to Americans

Although Phillips praised the president as an “amazing man” who has “led this country through extraordinarily difficult times,” he argued the Democratic Party, which only currently has three candidates in the presidential primary, is doing a disservice to Americans by not offering more choices.

“We have 12 Republicans as options for Republican primary voters,” said Phillips. “Right now, we only have three in the Democratic side. I believe in competition. We’re the Democratic Party. Democracy means the freedom to make choices, and we don’t have many of them.”

Of Biden, he said, “I think he can [beat Trump]. But, I think the only way to determine that, objectively, is to go through a process, by the way, before it’s too late.”

Phillips said that although he considers himself “well-positioned” for the presidency, he doesn’t believe he is ready to “run for it right now.”

“I have not decided yet,” Phillips said. 

Phillips also said he believes Vice President Harris is “absolutely qualified” for the job.

“In fact, I think she’s misportrayed,” said Phillips. “I think everybody in this country should take a little bit of time and sit with people, observe them, know them before you draw conclusions. I think she is more competent and able than many people give her credit for. The job of the vice president is not an easy one.”

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is entirely behind Biden’s campaign as the president campaigns for a second four-year term in the White House. At its annual winter meeting in February, it unanimously passed a resolution to commit its “full and complete support” for the reelection of Harris and Biden. 

The DNC said there would be no primary debates between President Biden and his two well-known challengers, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the high-profile vaccine critic and environmental lawyer from arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty, and Marianne Williamson, a bestselling self-help speaker, and author.