While the media and the White House are not taking his primary challenge of Joe Biden seriously, it seems clear that Dean Phillips is not messing around. Earlier in the week, the Minnesota congressman who announced in New Hampshire that he was running against the sitting president has released an ad that speaks exactly to Democratic fears as it relates to the president’s age and cognitive abilities.
NBC News writes that Phillips opens the minute-long spot, which he shared first in an interview with NBC News’ Kristen Welker on “Meet the Press,” by noting that Biden joined the Senate when Phillips was only 3 years old.
Phillips said Biden has served “with grace, with competency, with empathy. But there does come a time when the next generation should hand the torch to the next. And the next generation to take that baton and address the challenges that we’re going to be facing over some difficult days ahead.”
“I celebrate Joe Biden. I love Joe Biden,” Phillips later says in the ad. “But the time is now for the next generation to take that baton and do better for our country, for our children and for our future.”
Phillips also launched a TV ad on Friday in New Hampshire as he filed in the state to run for president. The initial spending underscores how Phillips is willing to spend his money on the campaign.
Biden’s job performance and age has caused anxiety within the Democratic Party. CNN wrote, “President Joe Biden is just as low in the White House’s internal polls as in any of the public ones. Whenever aides stress over the numbers in their weekly political meetings, Mike Donilon — for decades, Biden’s top political adviser — is the consistent voice of the president’s innermost circle, according to people who have heard him. Biden’s numbers, Donilon says, are pretty much where they were this far out from the 2022 midterms and all the doubts sounded the same; but the president’s team pursued its own careful approach to the campaigns and then saw Democrats exceed expectations.
But while Biden advisers are dismissive of Rep. Dean Phillips’ primary challenge launched this week, they are also annoyed about it. And that annoyance betrays the fact that some of them share the same uneasiness many Democrats feel about a president whose age is twice his approval rating.”
They’re right to be concerned. In August, The Associated Press reported that “Americans actually agree on something in this time of raw discord: Joe Biden is too old to be an effective president in a second term. Only a few years his junior, Donald Trump raises strikingly less concern about his age.
In the poll, fully 77% said Biden is too old to be effective for four more years. Not only do 89% of Republicans say that, so do 69% of Democrats. That view is held across age groups, not just by young people, though older Democrats specifically are more supportive of his 2024 bid.”