Dean Phillips, Jewish Democrat Who Ran Quixotic Presidential Campaign, Endorses Biden

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Democrat, attends a news conference on Iran negotiations on Capitol Hill on April 6, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images via

Ron Kampeas

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, the Minnesota Jewish Democrat who ran a long shot campaign for the Democratic presidential nod, suspended his campaign and endorsed President Joe Biden.

Phillips sought to tap into frustration among Democrats based almost wholly on Biden’s age; the two barely differed on policy, including on Israel, with both strongly backing Israel in its war with Hamas, but expressing concerns about the conduct of the war. In the end, he scored zero delegates.

He alluded to the age argument in his statement Wednesday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, attaching to it a photo of Biden in 2011, having an ice cream with Phillips’ two daughters. Biden loves ice cream, and Phillips formerly headed a gelato company.

“In 2011, I hosted then VP Biden at my home,” he wrote. “Most notable was his empathy and kindness to my daughters and the catering staff, with whom he sat and had ice cream (surprise-surprise). His decency and wisdom were rarities in politics then, and even more so today. Over a decade later, the only thing that has changed is time — which slows all of us down a bit, including presidents.”

Phillips said it was paramount not to allow former President Donald Trump, the putative Republican nominee, a path back to office. Phillips had been accused by other Democrats of assisting Trump, however inadvertently.

“I ran for Congress in 2018 to resist Donald Trump, I was trapped in the Capitol in 2021 because of Donald Trump, and I ran for President in 2024 to resist Donald Trump again — because Americans were demanding an alternative, and democracy demands options,” he wrote, referring to Trump’s role in spurring the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. “But it is clear that alternative is not me. And it is clear that Joe Biden is OUR candidate and OUR opportunity to demonstrate what type of country America is and intends to be.”

Phillips dropped out after losing to Biden in his own state — not quite getting 8% of the vote, while a campaign to vote uncommitted to protest Biden’s pro-Israel policies scored 20%.

His endorsement of Biden stood in contrast to Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who withdrew from the Republican presidential nomination race the same day and would not endorse Trump. Phillips said he would work to attract disaffected voters to Biden.

“Let’s lead with invitation, not confrontation, to welcome Haley supporters, Trump supporters, and Uncommitted supporters to get this done,” he said. “It’s our calling, it’s our legacy, and it’s our time. Onward with joy and patriotism!”


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