On Sunday, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) announced that he will be stepping down from his House leadership position after he voiced concern about the Democratic Party’s support for President Joe Biden’s reelection and suggested that he may run for president himself in 2024.
In a statement to Axios, Phillips applauded House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) leadership, but said that, because he is no longer aligned with the rest of the Democratic caucus on presidential politics, he will be stepping down from his role as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
“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 Phillips. “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!”
Phillips, widely regarded as a centrist Democrat, represents a Minnesota district that was deep red before he flipped it in 2018. Although Phillips has voted in support of Biden’s positions 100% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight he has increasingly distanced himself from the president for several months.
Phillips has been one of the few Democrats who has vocally stated his disapproval of Biden running for reelection in 2024. Phillips has said that he believes there is a need for a younger generation of political leadership to take over and has publicly considered a potential bid against the sitting president.
“I am thinking about it. I haven’t ruled it out,” Phillips said on a podcast when asked about it. “I’m concerned that there is no alternative.”
Phillips was also the first Democrat to call on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign when he was indicted on corruption charges last month.
A recent poll from CNN and SSRS shows that 73% of Americans are worried about President Biden’s age and believe it may affect his mental acuity, while 76% were concerned about his capacity to serve another full term in office. If Biden were to be reelected next year, he would be 87 years old upon leaving office in January 2029.
The president, for his part, has shrugged off concerns about his age amid his bid for the White House in 2024, telling reporters in April that 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. … 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.”
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