PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Rep. Dean Phillips says he plans to “underpromise” and “overdeliver” as he runs a long-running primary challenge against President Biden for the Democratic nomination.
Phillips, one of the richest members of Congress, launched his campaign to reach the White House in late October. He is focusing most of his time and resources on New Hampshire, where the president’s name will not be on the ballot in the state’s undeclared Democratic primary on Jan. 23.
“Should I win? No. Absolutely not. Do I think I’ll win? No, I don’t. I bet you’ve never heard that from a politician before,” Phillips responded when asked by Fox News Digital. He needed to finish the New Hampshire primary to continue his presidential bid.
“I’m an outlier, a dark horse, and it’s fun. It’s good. Because I feel what’s going on in the country and what’s going on here,” Phillips admitted.
Phillips is targeting Biden, and his fellow Democrats, over border policies as he launches a primary challenge against the president
“I think we’re going to surprise, and that’s where the game starts,” he predicted during an interview following a campaign event in this heavily Democratic city on New Hampshire’s seacoast.
Phillips, citing the president’s 81-year-old age, repeatedly criticized Biden for not “passing the torch” to the next generation of Democratic leaders, and urged that a serious primary challenger challenge the president for the party’s nomination in 2024. Biden continues to suffer from low approval ratings He is very popular among many Americans and faces concerns – not only from Republicans and independents but also from Democrats – about his physical and mental stamina.
Why is Dean Phillips berating his fellow Democrats?
When no other major Democrats were considering running against Biden, the billionaire businessman and Gelato co-founder turned three-term House Democrat from Minnesota launched his own campaign.
While the president is the front-runner for his party’s 2024 nomination, polls indicate that many Americans – including many Democrats – do not want the president to seek a second term in the White House. These same polls highlight that voters are unhappy with the potential prospect of a rematch between Biden and the candidate who defeated him in 2020, former President Donald Trump.
“The country is very clear now. They don’t want Joe Biden to be president. They don’t want Donald Trump to be president,” Phillips asserted as he addressed the crowd gathered to see him. “Whichever party breaks this impasse will win the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.”
Phillips told Fox News that his mission is “to show that Americans are sick and tired of this nonsense. That we have a crisis that cannot be addressed by Donald Trump or, frankly, President Biden, and it is time for change.”
Phillips apologizes for criticizing Vice President Harris
Nearly a year ago, the president proposed a nominating calendar for the 2024 election cycle, knocking New Hampshire out of its traditional primary position and replacing it with South Carolina, a more diverse state where Black voters play an outsized role in Democratic politics.
Biden came in a dismal fifth place in the 2020 New Hampshire primary, but a few weeks later won South Carolina in a landslide. The win boosted the former vice president toward the Democratic nomination and eventually the White House.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) earlier this year overwhelmingly approved the president’s proposed calendar change. But New Hampshire jumped on South Carolina to respect an old state law requiring the state to hold its first primary. With the state holding an unsanctioned Democratic contest, the president’s re-election campaign announced earlier this fall that Biden would not file a request to put his name on the ballot in New Hampshire.
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Top Democrats in New Hampshire have launched a write-in campaign for Biden in order to prevent any electoral embarrassment in the state’s presidential primary. Support for the write-in effort was on display Friday night at the state Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser, which Phillips also attended.
Speaker after speaker encouraged those who attended the ceremony, many of whom wore “Write Joe Biden” stickers, to do so.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., who chaired the event, led off his speech by saying “there’s an important primary next month.” He then held up a pen to make his point that voters should write the president’s name on the ballot.
Asked about the reception he received at the dinner, Phillips told Fox News: “I was very cold.”
Pointing to the Florida Democratic Party’s move last week to keep Phillips — as well as best-selling author and spiritual advisor Marianne Williamson, who is making her second straight run for the White House — off the presidential primary ballot, he said: “What? We’re seeing in Florida what we saw.” The Republican Party’s past, which is disenfranchisement, causes division and anger, and I think it’s a danger to the country and we need to solve it quickly.
Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more in the Fox News Digital Election Center.