House Democrat quits leadership position after mulling primary challenge to Joe Biden

 October 2, 2023

Eyebrows were raised last week after Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips told anti-Trump activist Steve Schmidt that he may challenge President Joe Biden for their party's 2024 nomination.

The story continued this week when Phillips announced that he is stepping down from his House leadership position. 

Phillis insists he "was not pressured or forced to resign"

"My convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership to avoid unnecessary distractions during a critical time for our country," The Hill quoted Phillips as saying in a statement.

"I celebrate Leader [Hakeem Jeffries] for his remarkable and principled leadership and extend gratitude to my outstanding friends and colleagues for having created space and place for my perspectives," the congressman stressed.

"I’ll continue to abide by my convictions, place people over politics, and support our shared mission to deliver security, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans. Onward!" Phillips concluded.

Phillips later reiterated that same message in a series of tweets on Sunday, stressing that he "was not pressured or forced to resign."

RFK Jr. may run against Biden as an independent

The lawmaker followed those words with praise for Jeffries as well as House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) chief Joe Neguse.

The Hill noted that President Biden is already facing primary challenges from self-help guru and failed 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson as well as Robert Kennedy Jr.

While polling data indicates Kennedy is the stronger contender, Mediaite reported last week that he is planning to run as an independent.

Poll shows two thirds of Democrats want someone else to be nominee

Phillips' talk of challenging Biden comes as the president has been hit with multiple polls that show him losing to former President Donald Trump.

What's more, a CNN survey published in September found that nearly two-thirds of Democratic voters would prefer someone other than Biden as their nominee.

The poll also showed that just over half of Democrats are "seriously concerned" over Biden's "current level of physical and mental competence."

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