President Joe Biden speaks at Dutch Creek Farms in Northfield, Minn., Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. (AP Picture/Andrew Harnik)
By Will Weissert and Chris Megerian
“As a substitute of exporting jobs abroad for cheaper labor, now we’re creating jobs right here and increasing American merchandise and promoting them abroad,” Biden advised a cheering crowd inside a barn at Dutch Creek Farms in Northfield, about 40 miles south of Minneapolis. “We’re not solely reworking rural communities, we’re reworking our financial system.”
White Home spokesman Andrew Bates stated the Minnesota swing was deliberate earlier than Phillips introduced his candidacy final week “and has no relationship” to the president’s challenger. However the congressman is the one elected Democrat to marketing campaign in opposition to him for the White Home.
Biden’s journey, coming so quickly after Phillips’ announcement, may permit the president to restrict any potential assist for his nascent main challenger. Company to the fundraiser, which adopted the farm go to, included many high Minnesota Democrats and Gov. Tim Walz.
Phillips’ marketing campaign will really feel “virtually like a chilly glass of water being thrown in his face,” stated Ken Martin, chair of Minnesota Democrats and a Democratic Nationwide Committee vice chair.
Martin is a pal of Phillips and recruited him to run for his Home seat. But when Phillips believes that persons are clamoring for alternate options to Biden, Martin stated, “he could also be alone in that considering amongst Democratic Get together leaders.”
“There actually doesn’t appear to be as a lot of a gap right here, as a lot as he would possibly need, or assume there’s, or must be,” he stated. Martin additionally addressed the fundraiser, calling it one of many largest occasions of its form for an incumbent president in Minnesota historical past.
Walz has been much more full-throated in his protection of Biden, releasing a fundraising electronic mail Friday on Biden’s behalf earlier than Phillips even formally received into the race titled “Minnesotans Love Joe Biden.”
“I’ve to say this about Minnesota: it’s a terrific state, stuffed with nice folks. And generally they do loopy issues,” Walz wrote, comparable to making “political sideshows for themselves.”
The demonstrations could not be seen from the president’s motorcade, however the usage of bullhorns was heard outdoors the location. Throughout his remarks on the fundraiser, Biden referred to as for a humanitarian “pause” within the Israel-Hamas conflict lengthy sufficient to get “prisoners” out.
“Any severe Democratic candidate would perceive that Black voters are the spine of the Democratic Get together,” stated Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson. He stated Phillips’ White Home run is “disrespectful to the voters of shade.”
Phillips missed Biden’s go to to his dwelling turf, noting in a press release that he was holding “my first city corridor in New Hampshire — which is celebrating its 103rd anniversary of internet hosting America’s first within the nation presidential main.”
He additionally questioned the go to being preplanned, calling it “final minute” whereas additionally saying he was grateful to Biden for utilizing the journey to “talk about the pressing points affecting on a regular basis People.”
“It’s not a diehard, dependable blue state,” Belcher stated. He famous Minnesota is a part of the midwestern blue wall that features Michigan and Wisconsin, and Biden “doesn’t stand an opportunity if that blue wall doesn’t stand.”
“We’ve seen that blue wall, in previous elections, be shaky,” Belcher stated.
Pennsylvania Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, who labored with Phillips as a member of the centrist Home Drawback Solvers Caucus and different legislative endeavors, stated she has “an infinite quantity of respect for Dean” however “I really feel as if his probably platform can be similar to the platform that he has voted for largely, which is President Biden’s agenda and legislative accomplishments.”
“I don’t see an actual differentiation,” Houlahan stated. She additionally referred to as Phillips a ”distraction” at a time when Democrats must be backing Biden “in a unified method to permit him, and us, to finish work that we’ve all began collectively.”
Related Press author Mark Vancleave in Minneapolis contributed to this report.