General News

Dean Phillips ends presidential campaign and endorses Biden – NBC News

Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota has suspended his campaign for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, ending his long-shot bid for the White House.

“I’m going to suspend my campaign and I will be, right now, endorsing President Biden because the choices are so clear,” he said in a Minnesota radio interview on WCCO’s “The Chad Hartman Show.”

“The alternative, Donald Trump, is a very dangerous, dangerous man,” he continued. “I would simply ask and invite and encourage Haley supporters, Trump supporters, uncommitted supporters to unify behind decency and integrity.”

He said, “That means supporting Joe Biden, and I’m going to do that beginning right now,” adding that he’s going to “do everything humanly possible to ensure Joe Biden’s re-election this November because it’s that existential.”

Phillips, 55, launched his campaign challenging Biden in October. The three-term congressman said he had to run against the leader of his party because he argued Biden would lose to former President Donald Trump in the general election in November. 

“I will not sit still, I will not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying we’re going to be facing an emergency next November,” Phillips said in his announcement during an interview with CBS News last fall. 

Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press” soon after, Phillips said, “Right now, if this election was held today, President Biden would lose, and it is an existential threat to the future of the United States of America. That will not happen under my watch.”

Phillips said that he wouldn’t “demean” or “undermine” Biden, though he criticized the president’s handling of the influx of migrants at the southern border. According to his campaign website, however, Phillips’ position on the issue seemed to align with Biden’s. It said he supports “enhanced border security, a pathway to citizenship for those here now, and a streamlined process for those seeking to enter the country legally.”

His views on other issues such as abortion and the economy also mirrored those of Biden’s. 

His decision to drop out comes after he announced in November that he wouldn’t run for re-election to his House seat representing Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District. Before Phillips entered the presidential race, a Democratic National Committee member, Ron Harris, said that he would run for Phillips’ House seat in 2024

Phillips also made clear that while he was in the race he wouldn’t run for president as an independent. 

The Minnesota Democrat did attract some support at the beginning of the primary season. A day before the New Hampshire primary, the state’s largest newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader, endorsed him for the Democratic ticket.

He and GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley were competing to gain the support of the same independent or undeclared voters in the state

In the days leading up to the primary, Phillips spent time campaigning in New Hampshire, including in Nashua on Saturday, where he said Biden shouldn’t be running again — especially because he’s 81 years old. 

“We all know Joe Biden is a good man. I respect him,” Phillips said. “But he should have passed the torch. He should not be running again. His age, yes, his stage of life. He’s in decline. We have very serious problems, costs, chaos, challenges facing this country in this world that I think are awfully difficult for either of these two men to address.”

In Rochester, New Hampshire, on Sunday, Phillips presented himself as the better candidate because he’s much younger. “Joe Biden has no relationships with this generation of new newly elected members of Congress,” he said.  “He hasn’t been in the Senate for many, many years.”

Phillips has served in the House since 2019 and is a member of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. 

Rebecca Shabad

Rebecca Shabad is a politics reporter for NBC News based in Washington.

Nnamdi Egwuonwu

Nnamdi Egwuonwu is a 2024 NBC News campaign embed.