According to a new report from Politico, Joe Biden may soon face another primary challenger, as Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips is reportedly being encouraged to enter the race to challenge the incumbent president.
Phillips is described in the report as a "moderate" Democrat, even though he has a 100% rating from NARAL, an "F" rating from the NRA, and a 3% lifetime score from Heritage Action. Although it is unclear what might possibly make Phillips a moderate, it is clear that some are hoping he will provide a challenge to Biden, who is widely seen as vulnerable in the general election, in the upcoming primary. According to the Politico report, Phillips is headed to New York City next week to meet with donors about the possibility of funding a primary challenge.
According to the Politico report, Phillips "is highly unlikely to mount a primary challenge unless Biden’s health worsens or his political standing drops precipitously." Still, with Biden's verbal gaffes, miscues and embarrassing "slips" of memory mounting, a candidate who believed such a reason would be enough to mount a primary challenge would not need to be pushed very far.
Additionally, Phillips went on record in February of this year by calling publicly for a contested Democratic primary, saying, "And if he were 15-20 years younger it would be a no-brainer to nominate him, but considering his age it’s absurd we’re not promoting competition but trying to extinguish it."
Phillips came to prominence as the former and co-owner of popular gelato brand Talenti. Although he lacks the public profile of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Phillips would provide another alternative to Democratic voters who are leery of another Biden candidacy, but are skeptical of Kennedy due to his stances on vaccines and other issues of importance to the Democratic base.
Phillips declined to comment on the record to Politico.