Biden challenger Dean Phillips announces 2024 campaign layoffs, stays in race

Despite the setbacks, Phillips assured his supporters and the public that he remains committed to the presidential race.

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips announces his run for president in October. (Dean Phillips/YouTube)

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) announced on Friday evening that his 2024 presidential campaign is laying off a substantial number of staff amid financial challenges.

However, the announcement, made in a video posted on social media, did not indicate Mr. Phillips’ withdrawal from the presidential race.

“I found it almost impossible to raise enough to do this campaign the way I want,” Mr. Phillips said in the video. “And today, sadly, I had to announce layoffs to a lot of my staff members.”

Mr. Phillips, 54, positioned himself as a younger alternative to President Joe Biden, 81, when he launched his campaign in October last year, late in the season.

His platform focused on “relieving the economic hardship felt by working families” and “repairing our broken political system,” according to his website.

Mr. Phillips is polling under 5 percent nationally.

The three-term Democratic congressman faced defeats in the New Hampshire and South Carolina Democratic primaries against President Biden and was not on the ballot in Nevada.

In January, former President Donald Trump urged Democrats in New Hampshire to vote for Mr. Phillips to send a signal to President Biden, who was absent from the state’s primary. President Biden did not register for the New Hampshire primary after national Democrats opted to move their first primary to South Carolina, which has a more racially diverse population.

During a campaign event in Rochester on Jan. 22, Mr. Phillips criticized President Biden for not actively campaigning in New Hampshire.

Mr. Phillips has been left off the Democratic primary ballots in some states. He has filed challenges against these.

In the video, Mr. Phillips reflected on the “joyful” aspects of his campaign journey, commending the thousands of Americans across the political spectrum who expressed frustration with the current political landscape and a desire for a fresh perspective.

“They can’t believe that we’re going to have a rematch potentially from 2020. They are disgusted by Donald Trump. They cannot believe that Joe Biden thinks he’s going to serve through January of 2029. And they don’t understand why both parties are offering two candidates that most of the country really doesn’t want,” he said.

Campaign facing challenges

In the video on Friday, Mr. Phillips’ upbeat tone shifted when he disclosed the financial difficulties his campaign was facing.

Mr. Phillips revealed the hardships of fundraising and the challenges of introducing himself to the public when his party does not support him as he seeks to displace their preferred candidate.

“I have to tell you, everybody, when you’re running as an insurgent as a candidate that the Democratic Party doesn’t want to see in the race, in a party that doesn’t want to see any competitive primary right now, it’s really hard,” he said. “It’s hard to raise money, it’s hard to generate a platform to introduce myself, and it’s hard when your party’s working against you.”

These challenges led to his decision to lay off a significant number of campaign staff members, he said. Thanking his staffers, he described them as “amazing people who gave up a lot personally and professionally to join this remarkable campaign.”

In January, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman declared his endorsement of Mr. Phillips. He pledged $1 million to a super PAC that supports the Minnesota congressman.
Following a meeting, Mr. Ackman described Mr. Phillips as someone who would make a “truly outstanding President of the United States.”

Despite the setbacks, Mr. Phillips assured his supporters and the public that he remains committed to the presidential race.

“I’m going to continue this journey as long as you want this journey continued,” Mr. Phillips said, adding that he made a promise to his staff and supporters.

“I’m not giving up, I’m gonna continue. I’m on the ballot in 43 states. Our country is desperate for change,” he said. “If you still believe that we can do better, please consider supporting in my campaign.”

The announcement comes on the heels of fellow Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson’s decision to suspend her campaign Feb. 7.


Caden Pearson | The Epoch Times