Home Economy ‘I’m the longshot’: Dean Phillips embraces underdog role in shaky debut against Biden

‘I’m the longshot’: Dean Phillips embraces underdog role in shaky debut against Biden


Dean Phillips, the Minnesota businessman and political novice running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate against former Vice President Joe Biden, is embracing an underdog role in the race.

Phillips is a newcomer to the national stage, and carries with him a message of expanding opportunities for middle-class Americans and a commitment to civility and bipartisanship in a time of rising political divisiveness.

He has placed second in polling behind Biden, and narrowly leads former state Sen. Julie Klobuchar, a close ally of the former vice president, in cash on hand.

But Phillips is typically ignored by the media, something he said he is proud of, on the grounds that he doesn’t want to be seen as an establishment candidate.

“I’m the long shot in this race,” Phillips told The Hill in an interview. “I’m not a part of the Democratic leadership; I’m an outsider. I think that’s something that should be an asset in a congressional race.”

Phillips said he has made it a point to stay out of the fray as the other candidates take aim at Biden’s record and inability to offer concrete plans for progressive action.

“My debate strategy is to make sure that I differentiate myself as not jumping in and participating in that conversation,” he said. “I think it’s important that you stick to the issues and the issues that have to be addressed right now in the United States.”

He has focused his campaign on job creation, health care reform, and education access. Yet, despite his outsider status and relative lack of name recognition, he is confident that he can make his mark in the race.

“The establishment candidates have slugged it out over the last few months and I do think there is a good chance for somebody like myself to come in and surprise and do some damage in this race,” he said.

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