Dean Phillips’s Last-Minute, Long-Shot Quest to Force Democrats to Reconsider Biden


“Considering all of the other stuff happening, I think he’s doing somewhat of a good job,” Nick Hadshi, 32, of Concord, said of Mr. Biden. “It could be better, it could be worse.”

He was open to alternatives, he said.

Mr. Biden’s campaign said in a statement that it was “proud of the historic, unified support he has” and added: “The stakes of next year’s election could not be higher for the American people, and the campaign is hard at work mobilizing the winning coalition that President Biden can uniquely bring together to once again beat the MAGA Republicans next November.”

While Mr. Phillips outlined a number of issues that he would focus on — including the affordability of health care and child care, and the accessibility of guns after the mass shootings in Lewiston, Me., this week — he did not cite any policy disagreements with Mr. Biden. He did, however, mention disagreements with some of his fellow Democrats in general and suggested, without elaborating much, that they saw issues as too black and white.

“Two things not only can be true at once, they usually are true at once,” he said. “We need border security, and we need immigration reform. It’s humane, and it’s the economic choice. Every issue, from gun violence prevention to reproductive rights to any policy of substance we need right now — every one of them, two things are true at once.”

Mr. Phillips told reporters that he saw preventing Mr. Trump from winning the 2024 election as an “existential” necessity, and that this was why he was running. But he also said unequivocally that he would fall in line if Mr. Biden won the primary.

“If you care about democracy, if you care about freedom, I think it’s terribly important that a Democrat win this election,” he said. “And I will do anything, I will give everything I have, every moment of my time, every ounce of my energy, to ensure that that nominee — whether it be me, of course, President Biden or somebody else — becomes president.”



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