Minnesota Democrat calls on Phillips to resign for challenging Biden 

A "Phillips for President" bus was seen traveling through Ohio Tuesday.

Phillips
Minnesota Sen. Bonnie Westlin called on Congressman Dean Phillips to resign in a tweet Tuesday.

A Minnesota state senator is calling on fellow Democrat Dean Phillips to resign his congressional seat over reports that he will challenge President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary.

“[Rep. Dean Phillips] it’s time for you to resign your seat. I could not be more disappointed in you. You will never have my support again for any elected office, including your Congressional seat. Make America Affordable Again? Pretty rich coming from a multi-millionaire,” said Minnesota Sen. Bonnie Westlin, DFL-Plymouth, who represents portions of Phillips’ Third Congressional District in the state Senate and has campaigned with the congressman in the past.

Phillips endorsed Westlin in her unsuccessful 2020 bid against state Republican Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, before she went on to win an open seat in 2022.

Phillips first began publicly toying with the idea of challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination in July and said as early as July 2022 that he doesn’t think the 80-year-old president should seek reelection. He has repeatedly raised concerns about Biden’s age and low approval ratings, which he believes could help former President Donald Trump return to the Oval Office.

But many other prominent Democrats view an intraparty primary fight as something that could needlessly damage an already vulnerable incumbent and instead want the party to unite behind pushing Biden over the finish line. That includes DNC Executive Committee member Ron Harris, who announced earlier this month that he will seek to replace Phillips in Congress.

How Phillips differentiates himself from Biden on a policy level remains to be seen, since, as of January, he had voted in line with the president’s agenda 100% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Westlin’s comments came in response to images of a “Phillips for President” bus that was spotted traveling through Ohio Tuesday, which seemed to confirm reports that Phillips will launch a presidential bid Friday in New Hampshire.

The bus included Phillips’ “Everyone’s Invited” congressional campaign slogan as well as a new “Make America Affordable Again” tagline, a play on Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

“So [Dean Phillips] is ready to support a Republican Speaker, is challenging our Democratic President, and is using a slogan straight out of GOP talking points. He’ll do more for Republicans than [Tom Emmer],” said former Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, a Democrat.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Phillips offered to sit out a speaker vote if U.S. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, also from Minnesota, committed to funding the government “at negotiated levels” and bringing Ukraine and Israel aid bills to the floor. Sitting out the vote would have lowered the threshold Emmer needed to clear to be elected speaker. Emmer was nominated for the speaker role by the House Republican Conference Tuesday but dropped out just hours later.

For his part, President Biden will be in Minnesota Nov. 1.

 

Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.