Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips is fed up with his own party.
In an interview with CNN on the day of the New Hampshire primary, the Minnesota congressman used the word “delusional” to describe the current state of the Democratic Party, as Granite State voters headed to the polls.
“My party is completely delusional right now and somebody had to wake us up,” Phillips said from Manchester. “And if that’s my job, so be it.”
Phillips, 55, has faced a barrage of criticism for running against President Biden in a tumultuous cycle that Democrats see as monumental against a potential resurgence of former President Trump. While Phillips has denounced claims that his candidacy weakens Biden ahead of what’s likely to be another competitive general election, he has maintained that he is running to do the opposite.
The centrist Democrat believes his bid will help Biden get tougher against Trump in the fall, if he doesn’t end up securing the nomination himself.
“I’m trying to extend an invitation to the president to get in the game. If you want to be the president again, the only way to possibly win is to get out here. Listen to voters,” Phillips said.
“The Democrats have turned over hundreds of hours of prime-time TV to the GOP,” he added, articulating a common gripe among Biden’s insurgent rivals that the media has focused its attention on the Republican presidential primary, which has several candidates competing for the White House.
Phillips’s argument and central critique is that if Democrats had created room for a competitive primary against the unpopular sitting president, voters would hypothetically have a chance to hear other points of view.
“If Democrats had a competitive race right now, which I’m trying to create, we would have energy,” he said.