WASHINGTON — Despite his low record in approval and public concerns about his age, Minnesota Democrats — with the notable exception of Rep. Dean Phillips — are backing President Joe Biden’s bid for re-election.
Phillips, d-3Research and development District, the first lawmaker to call for a new generation of Democratic leadership in the White House, said Biden should be challenged.
“I am moved by the Biden presidency and find the president a man of equal competence and compassion. I also believe that American democracy is made stronger through competition,” Phillips said. “Coronation contrasts with democracy, and competition always results in the best possible candidate—especially at such a perilous time in our nation’s history.”
Despite Phillips’ call to “contest,” no major Democratic challengers are expected to emerge, and only two candidates have stepped up to run against Biden, writer Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy.
Biden kicked off his bid for re-election Tuesday with a video that portrayed the race as a battle against Republican extremism and the possibility of Donald Trump’s presidency again. He also said he needed a second term to fully realize his pledge to restore the nation’s character and integrity.
When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a fight for the soul of America. “And we still are,” Biden said in the video.
Biden also has a slogan for the 2024 election, “Let’s get the job done.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, who was Biden’s primary rival in 2020 before dropping out of the race for the White House, retweeted Biden’s offer for four more years.
“Let’s continue to work together to get things done for the American people,” Klobuchar said.
Senator Tina Smith, D-Maine. He also retweeted a video of Biden’s re-election announcement — and repeated the president’s slogan.
“We’re building an America where everyone gets a fair chance,” said Smith. “We are fighting for the future we want for our children, our grandchildren, and every subsequent generation. Let’s finish the job.”
representative. Ilhan Omar D-5y District, she applauded Biden’s legislative accomplishments, which include a massive infrastructure bill and a package of health care and clean energy initiatives — and his recent visit to Minnesota to promote green energy.
“President Joe Biden’s visit to Fridley in my district this month confirmed everything we have accomplished as Democrats in the past two years — the largest investments in clean energy in history, hundreds of thousands of new jobs in Minnesota and millions of dollars invested in community projects directly in the Fifth District,” Omar said. “For these reasons and more, I plan to support our Democratic president for re-election.”
Omar also reiterated Biden’s message that democracy in the country is threatened by “Donald Trump and his fellow MAGA Republicans” and that Democrats need to be “a united front to fight it.”
Omar also said she would continue to press the more centrist Biden on “incremental change on issues like student debt, child hunger, immigration, and foreign policy.”
If Biden wins re-election, he will be 82 when he takes office and 86 when his term ends, once again becoming the oldest person sworn into the White House. Trump will turn 78 in 2024.
And the president’s overall approval rating remains adrift at just over 42%, according to political website FiveThirtyEight.
Rep. Angie Craig, D-2Abbreviation II District, she said she respects Biden’s decision to seek re-election, “and of course I will support him.” But Craig also said she hopes a new generation of Democratic leaders will win the White House, just as younger Democrats have taken her party’s top positions in the US House of Representatives.
“As we saw recently with the transition of leadership in Congress to Hakeem Jefferies, I believe the party has tremendous new leadership that will be critical in moving America forward,” Craig said in an emailed statement. “So, as I look forward to moving the next generation of leadership forward, I respect the President’s decision to run and look forward to our continued work together.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz was more enthusiastic about Biden’s announcement.
“As anti-democratic extremists across the country work to take away our rights, President @joebiden has defended our democracy and freedoms with decency, integrity, and compassion,” the governor wrote on Twitter. “He had our back — and now we have his back. We’re ready to go for four more years!”
Walz’s support will be key to the Biden campaign’s efforts to build a “blue wall” with key Midwestern states to stave off a Trump victory again, provided the former president is indeed the Republican challenger.
The governor was one of the signatories to a letter to Biden and the Democratic National Committee last month urging them to choose Chicago as the site for the 2024 national convention to strengthen and expand Democratic support for the president’s re-election in the Midwest. Democrats screwed their eyes off the ball in 2016, the letter said, losing Wisconsin and Michigan – which usually voted for a Democratic presidential candidate before Trump in 2016.
“The 2016 election is a cautionary tale that the Democratic National Committee, now choosing where to hold its 2024 nominating convention, should take seriously,” the letter read. “In an incredibly polarized country, whose electoral college model has a bearing on election results, the Midwest is absolutely indispensable to party success and should be the home of the 2024 Convention.”
The DNC chose Chicago over Atlanta for the convention.