U.S. Rep. Phillips says he's not ready to commit to run for president

A man sits in a U.S. Congress meeting room, listening.
Rep. Dean Phillips questions witnesses during a 2020 House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing in Washington, DC. Phillips says he has not decided whether to run for president in 2024.
Kevin Dietsch-Pool | Getty Images

DFL U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips says he has not made a decision about running for president next year, but he’s encouraging other Democrats to challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination.

Phillips spoke for the first time Sunday since Politico reported last month he was talking to donors about a possible run.

“Democrats are telling me that they want, not a coronation, but they want a competition,” Phillips said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday. “If we don’t heed that call, shame on us. And the consequences, I believe, are going to be disastrous,” Phillips said. “So, my call is to those who are well positioned, well prepared, of good character and competency — they know who they are — to jump in, because Democrats and the country need competition.”

A couple of candidates, Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., are already running against Biden.

“I think I’m well positioned to be president [of] the United States,” Phillips said.  “I do not believe I’m well positioned to run for it right now. People who are should jump in.”

Phillips called Biden an “amazing man,” and said his call for others to run is not about Biden.

Phillips also said Vice President Kamala Harris is “more competent and able than she is given credit for,” but he said competition would help determine whether she would be the candidate for Democrats to choose. 

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.