Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Rep. Dean Phillips to challenge Biden in Democratic presidential race: “This is an election about th


Rep. Dean Phillips to challenge Biden in Democratic presidential race: “This is an election about th

01:56

MINNEAPOLIS — X, formerly known as Twitter, has suspended the campaign account for Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who only just officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign to challenge incumbent President Joe Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket.

Hours after Phillips uploaded campaign videos to all social accounts, the social media platform that’s now been under Elon Musk for exactly one year today has suspended the account, leaving only the message “X suspends accounts which violate the X rules.”

It’s still a few hours before Phillips is expected to put pen to paper in New Hampshire, ahead of the deadline to appear on the state’s primary ballot. Phillips’ campaign accounts on Facebook and Instagram remain active, and it’s not immediately clear what X rules the account may have allegedly violated.

X/Twitter

Phillips’ campaign Thursday night used the Twitter account to launch his announcement video. In the tweet, Phillips said “I am excited to announce my candidacy for President in 2024. It’s time to put our country back together again — and use our differences to make us stronger. It’s time to repair America.”

Phillips’ two other main accounts on X/Twitter, his personal one and his official one as a U.S. Representative, remain active Friday morning.

The list of X rules touted by the platform all under the headings of safety, privacy, authenticity, and third-party advertising in video content.

At the same time, Musk’s platform has been at the center of a number of controversies rooted in authenticity. The European Commission earlier this month made a formal, legally binding request for information from Elon Musk’s social media platform X over its handling of hate speech, misinformation and violent terrorist content related to the Israel-Hamas war. In another incident, a California man claimed he was harassed after Elon Musk amplified posts on X that falsely placed the man at a confrontation involving far-right protesters. He has sued the billionaire for defamation in a lawsuit.

X/Twitter

Phillips’ announcement

Phillips, 54, recently sat down with CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa in an exclusive interview for “CBS Mornings” to discuss his intentions to challenge Biden in 2024.

“I think President Biden has done a spectacular job for our country,” Phillips said. “But it’s not about the past. This is an election about the future.”

READ MORE: What to know about Rep. Dean Phillips, the Minnesota Democrat challenging Joe Biden in 2024

Phillips told Costa he has studied polling data and is alarmed about the prospect of former President Donald Trump beating Biden, should the 2024 election end up becoming a rematch of the 2020 race. He said at 80 years old, it’s time for Biden to step aside for a new generation of Democrats to lead the party.

“I will not sit still and not be quiet in the face of numbers that are so clearly saying that we’re going to be facing an emergency next November,” Phillips said.

The early inklings that Phillips would pursue a primary challenge against Biden have been in the works for months, but moved into hyperdrive when he stepped down from his role as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Caucus (DPCC) at the start of the month.

“My convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership to avoid unnecessary distractions during a critical time for our country,” he said.

Prior to that, the congressman told WCCO in August that he was pushing for an alternative to Biden for Democrats in the upcoming presidential election. Also in August, he called for term limits for members of Congress. That came following the second time Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell froze during a news conference during summer. 

This would not mark the first time Phillips has challenged the party’s status quo. When he first was elected to U.S. Congress, Phillips spoke of the need for a “new generation” of Democrats to replace then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and was frustrated when no one emerged. He would later go on to praise Pelosi as “one of the most successful speakers of all time.”

Most pundits are characterizing Phillips’ bid as a long-shot at most. However, New Hampshire primary challenges have a history of wounding incumbent presidents.

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