July 13, 2024

Does 2024 presidential candidate Dean Phillips, who is backed by the co-founder of The Lincoln Project, have a shot in his party’s presidential primary? The answer would seem to be an obvious no, but that’s not stopping CNN from freaking out about Phillips being in the race. 


Things kicked off with an accusation of, you guessed it, racism. You see, the Minnesota congressman didn’t go around to the various Democrat identity groups such as the NAACP and Urban League to bend the knee. Thus, he is apparently not fit for office. 

HARLOW: I thought your exchange with him, Kasie, over black voters, and the not just black voters, key coalitions in the Democratic Party, was really telling. 

HUNT: Yeah. I’m really glad Errol is here. When I learned about that because he’s obviously gone back and forth with Jim Clyburn. Because Clyburn supported this move to have the first primary go to South Carolina. He said it was disrespectful of black voters the way Phillips is going about his campaign. And I think we should just note that trying to win a Democratic nomination without the help of some of these critical groups is, I think, next to impossible.

Who knew that in America you needed the permission of special interest groups to run for president? I thought this was a free country, but was obviously mistaken. Look, I’ve got no love for Phillips, but it is not disrespectful to black voters to decide to run for president just because Al Sharpton or Steven Horsford didn’t give their approval, something they’d never do anyway because protecting Joe Biden is their priority. 


Hunt continued by essentially claiming Phillips is delusional for running. Fair enough, I suppose, but she also believes that Phillips will “irreparably damage” Biden in key swing states.

I’m not sure how true it is, but the fact that it’s a concern is telling. I suspect that Phillips won’t have enough money to run very many ads, but even if he does, it is not his fault that Biden is deeply unpopular. The president has managed that feat all on his own. It doesn’t really matter what Phillips does because voters are looking at their bank accounts and the high prices they are paying and they know the economy is terrible. They can also watch the news and see the world melting down on Biden’s watch. 

Democrats want the primary to not be contested precisely because they have so little faith in the president. If they had any confidence in his ability to win voters to his side then they wouldn’t care who challenged him. Here’s the thing, though. If you are worried about some random congressman named Dean Phillips harming Biden, then the incumbent was already absolutely terrible and destined to lose anyway. 


As Dean pointed out in his interview with CNN that sparked the segments above, it was not Jimmy Carter’s primary challenger that cost him the election against Ronald Reagan. It was the fact that Carter was an awful president. If CNN is worried about Biden losing, they should be looking toward the White House, not blaming Phillips, who is essentially a non-factor.

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