Rep. Dean Phillips says he’s considering running against Biden

Representative Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Democrat who for months has said publicly what many in his party have only whispered in private – that 80-year-old President Biden should not seek re-election because of his age — said he was considering challenging Mr. Biden in next year’s primary.

Mr. Phillips, 54, is in his third term in Congress and represents a district that includes the suburbs west of Minneapolis. In a text message, he confirmed his interest in running but declined a request to be interviewed. He said he had been “overwhelmed by the outreach and encouragement” and needed to assess his next steps.

Mr. Phillips would be an extremely long shot if he were to challenge Mr. Biden. Polls show that Democrats once wary of Mr. Biden seeking re-election have rallied behind him. The party’s largest donor class backs the president, who raised $72 million with the Democratic National Committee and his joint fundraising committee during the three-month reporting period that ended June 30.

Mr. Phillips had $277,000 on his congressional fundraising account in late June.

An heir to a Minnesota liquor fortune who found himself driving a gelato truck in his first House campaign, Mr. Phillips has been known in Congress to embrace the moderate suburban politics that were at the core of the general election coalition that propelled Mr. Biden’s 2020 victory. He was first elected in 2018 when he and dozens of other Democrats flipped Republican districts as suburban voters turned against President Donald J. Trump.

In Congress, Mr. Phillips gained attention for his outspoken calls for aging members of the Democratic Party to step aside. He said last year that Mr. Biden should not seek re-election, and he has called for termination by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, whose health has visibly deteriorated in recent months.

The Biden campaign and the DNC have so far declined to comment on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, who began their own primary campaigns against Mr. Biden this year. Officials from both the DNC and the Biden campaign declined to talk about Mr. Phillips.

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