CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — For months, Dean Phillips called for a Democratic primary challenge to President Joe Biden, drawing no public interest from governors, lawmakers, and other would-be alternatives.
The 54-year-old Minnesota congressman finally entered the race himself on Friday in an event outside New Hampshire’s statehouse, saying, “It is time for the torch to be passed to a new generation of American leaders.”
Phillips is highly unlikely to beat Biden. Still, his run offers a symbolic challenge to national Democrats trying to project the idea that there is no reason to doubt the president’s electability — even as many Americans question whether the 80-year-old Biden should serve another term.
He said in his speech that he would try to fix the economy and warned about high prices and “the chaos at our border” — all issues that are potential vulnerabilities for Biden as he heads into a likely rematch against former President Donald Trump. And Phillips is trying to engage New Hampshire Democrats angry at Biden for diluting their state’s influence on the 2024 Democratic primary calendar, noting that the state had historically been “first to vet presidential candidates like me.”