Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), a long-shot challenger to President Joe Biden, tore into the Democratic Party as primary day in New Hampshire got underway following an eye-opening experience visiting with supporters of former President Donald Trump.
During an interview on CNN, which aired on Tuesday after a New Hampshire newspaper endorsed his campaign, Phillips shared his “conviction” that Biden would lose in a 2020 rematch against Trump and warned of a “crisis of participation” within his party.
“I’ve got to tell you guys, I went to a Donald Trump rally a couple nights ago. Never been to one. I had an event across the street. I saw the line of people waiting in the cold for hours and I thought, what the heck, you know, I’m going to be a leader who actually invites people, doesn’t condemn them,” Phillips said.
Joe Biden’s primary opponent Dean Phillips trashes the Democrat Party:
“My party is completely delusional right now”pic.twitter.com/BCgIkeMYp8
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 23, 2024
“Met probably 50 Trump people waiting in line. Every single one of them, thoughtful, hospitable, friendly, all of them so frustrated that they feel nobody’s listening to them but Donald Trump,” he added. “A diverse crowd. People who had never been to a Trump event before. My party is completely delusional right now, and somebody had to wake us up. And if that’s my job, so be it.”
Phillips, like other challengers against Biden, trails the incumbent by a wide margin in polls and has been critical of the Democratic Party for not hosting debates and vying to keep them off the ballot in key states. However, New Hampshire will be different.
New Hampshire opted to defy the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by holding its first-in-the-nation primary for Democrats on January 23 after the national party decided to shake up its primary schedule by selecting South Carolina to go first on its calendar. Biden’s name is not appearing on the New Hampshire primary ballot after his campaign chose not to file for it in compliance with DNC rules — though there has been a write-in effort to boost the incumbent — while Phillips will be on the ballot.
Phillips said he “absolutely” prefers Biden defeating Trump, but he argued in favor of competition versus a “coronation.” While he voiced support for other Democrats to get in the race, Phillips said he is “trying to extend an invitation to the president to get in the game because if you want to be the president again the only way to even possibly win is to get out here, listen to voters.”