Hopeless Democratic primary challenger Dean Phillips drops out, endorses 'decent' Biden

 March 7, 2024

Democrat Dean Phillips ended his longshot primary challenge Tuesday, hours after Republican Nikki Haley suspended her equally hopeless candidacy. 

The moves came after Joe Biden and Donald Trump won solid victories on Super Tuesday, effectively ending the primaries for both major parties.

Phillips, an affable thorn in Biden's side from Minnesota, broke with his party by making an issue out of Biden's advanced age before it became impossible to deny.

During the primary, Phillips acknowledged the tall hill he had to climb but insisted that voters should be given a choice.

Democrat ends bid

In the end, Biden's glaring flaws were not enough to make Phillips a competitive challenger, as he acknowledged Tuesday after falling short in his home state.

Phillips earned just 8% of the vote in Minnesota, even less than the 19% who voted "uncommitted" in protest of Biden's foreign policy with Israel.

Phillips made it clear he is supporting Biden, warts and all, to keep "decency and integrity in the White House."

'"That's Joe Biden. Let's use invitation, not confrontation, to welcome Haley supporters, Trump supporters, and Uncommitted supporters to get this done. It's our calling, it's our legacy, and it's our time," he said.

While "democracy demands options," it "is clear that alternative is not me," Phillips said.

"To all who supported my effort, thank you. We will continue the important work to ensure a more responsive, democratic, and generationally diverse political system."

The machine embraces Biden

Biden has faced an even more distant challenge from self-help author Marianne Williamson, who recently unsuspended her campaign after Michigan's primary, in which she came out ahead of Phillips, with both trailing the "uncommitted" vote.

Beyond a left-wing discontent, doubts about Biden's age have grown louder since a Special Counsel report described him as an "elderly man with a poor memory."

Phillips' candidacy annoyed Democrats who argued that it served no purpose but to divide the party, with polls showing Trump in a dead heat with Biden or even ahead.

After Super Tuesday, it appears Phillips is prepared to forget everything he said about Biden being too old to serve.

"Congratulations to Joe Biden, Uncommitted, Marianne Williamson, and Nikki Haley for demonstrating more appeal to Democratic Party loyalists than me," Phillips quipped.

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