Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips’ 2024 presidential campaign appears to be running to President Joe Biden’s left on several contentious policy platforms ahead of the Democratic primary.
Phillips launched a longshot presidential bid in late October where he has presented himself as an alternative to Biden in 2024, citing concerns over the president’s age and electability. Though the congressman had been described by some as more moderate, his campaign is now focusing on more liberal issues like legalizing marijuana, increasing the minimum wage, implementing universal healthcare, criticizing Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack and more, according to Politico.
“I think this is actually, despite the great misery and tragedy, that this is perhaps the best time maybe in the last 75 years to put an end to this nonsense,” Phillips told Politico of the Israel-Hamas conflict. “But I don’t think the same people doing it the same way are going to be able to, from the West Bank to the West Wing. Period.”
The congressman has also called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas once hostages are released, while criticizing Israel for imposing “policies of oppression and illegal settlement on Palestinian lands that have only been exacerbated by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Phillips recently criticized Biden for opposing legalizing marijuana, though the president does support decriminalizing its use, while playfully suggesting he try it, according to Politico. The congressman later clarified to the outlet that he didn’t mean Biden “literally” use the drug.
The campaign will roll out a new “pro-worker” policy plan focused on universal healthcare, paid family leave, increasing the minimum wage and more, as well as a separate proposal related to student debt, aides told Politico. Along with his campaign criticizing Biden for not embracing a $15 minimum wage, it recently hired independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ longtime adviser Jeff Weaver.
“The minimum wage was one of the early issues that was sort of thrown overboard under the excuse that the Senate parliamentarian wasn’t going to let them do it,” Weaver told Politico. “Dean Phillips [as] president, he would not be letting an unelected bureaucrat in the Senate decide whether people are going to get a higher minimum wage or not.”
Weaver threw cold water on the notion that Phillips is a more moderate Democrat, pointing to the fact that he votes with Biden 100% of the time, according to Politico.
The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 national Democratic primary, based on polls conducted between Nov. 9 and Nov. 20, indicates Phillips has 3.5% support behind self-help author Marianne Williamson at 8.5% and Biden with 69.7%.
Phillips has been largely focusing his campaign on the key early primary state of New Hampshire, where Biden will not appear on the ballot due to the Democratic National Committee’s new nominating calendar.
Neither campaigns for Phillips nor Biden immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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