Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota has decided to challenge President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, launching his 2024 campaign on Friday morning in New Hampshire, where he filed to appear on the state's primary ballot.
"I am. I have to," Phillips told CBS News chief election & campaign correspondent Robert Costa in an exclusive interview for "CBS Mornings" that aired Friday, when asked whether he is making a late entry into the Democratic race.
In the interview, Phillips, 54, said he admires Mr. Biden, 80, but believes it is time for a new generation of Democrats to lead the party, especially with former President Donald Trump poised to potentially be the Republican presidential nominee.
Phillips said he has studied polling data and is alarmed about the prospect of Trump beating Mr. Biden, should the 2024 election end up becoming rematch of the 2020 race.
"I think President Biden has done a spectacular job for our country," Phillips said. "But it's not about the past. This is an election about the future."
"I will not sit still and not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying that we're going to be facing an emergency next November," Phillips said, describing a possible second Trump term as crisis moment for American democracy.
Phillips acknowledged that he faces an uphill climb since many Democrats are fervently backing Mr. Biden and are convinced the president remains well-positioned to once again beat Trump. But he believes some Democratic voters are craving an alternative who provides a generational contrast and has a centrist message, which Phillips has honed since he was first elected to the House in 2018.
Phillips added that he is encouraging other Democrats to enter the race, with the hope that additional competition will provide the party with a tested and strong nominee.
Phillips spoke with Costa on Thursday at a home he owns in rural Middleburg, Virginia, and is scheduled to be in New Hampshire on Friday, which is the filing deadline for candidates to appear on the primary ballot. He will also kick off a bus tour.
Earlier this week, Mr. Biden's reelection campaign informed New Hampshire Democrats, in a letter obtained by CBS News from Biden campaign officials, that the president, citing party guidelines.
Mr. Biden "is obligated as a Democratic candidate for President to comply with the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2024 Democratic National Convention" set in motion earlier this year, the letter said.
According to a primary calendar first proposed by Mr. Biden, South Carolina will be the first state to hold a primary that awards delegates for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next year.
New Hampshire was pushed back further in the party's calendar, but state law requires New Hampshire to host the nation's first primaries. State Democrats couldn't convince state legislators to reverse the Granite State statute, but they also didn't try terribly hard, since they disagreed with the DNC's decision. Anyone who runs in the state's Democratic primary will not be awarded New Hampshire delegates by the DNC.
Olivia Rinaldi contributed to this report.
Costa's interview with Phillips will air Friday, Oct. 27 on "CBS Mornings" and be featured across CBS News platforms.
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