Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., announced he was stepping down from Democratic leadership positions over President Joe Biden's re-election campaign. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota said he is stepping down from his Democratic leadership positions in protest of his party's support of President Joe Biden's re-election bid.
"I have decided to step down from the [Democratic Party and Communications Committee] & Democratic Caucus leadership," he said Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"While politics & official work do not mix, it's clear my convictions about 2024 are incongruent with the position of my colleagues & that was causing discomfort."
In a statement provided by his spokesman to POLITICO, Phillips, 54, said he felt it "appropriate" to resign as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee to "avoid unnecessary distractions during a critical time for our country. "
"I celebrate leader [Hakeem] Jeffries for his remarkable and principled leadership, and extend gratitude to my outstanding friends and colleagues for having created space and place for my perspectives," he added.
Rep. Jeffries of New York is the House minority leader.
"I'll continue to abide by my convictions, place people over politics and support our shared mission to deliver security, opportunity and prosperity for all Americans," Phillips said.
On X, he added that he was not forced to resign.
The moderate Democratic left his leadership positions following a summer in which he has said someone other than Biden should run for president on the Democratic ticket.
He also told CNN's Jake Tapper in late August that despite his personal affection for the president, he has "grave concerns" over polling that shows a majority of Democrats want an alternative candidate.
Biden, who turns 81 late next month, addressed concerns over such polling and worries about his health and age in a press conference in late April, stating the reason why he's running again is because "there's a job to finish."
"And with regard to age ... it doesn't register with me," he said.
"They're going to see a race, and they're going to judge whether or not I have it or don't have it. I respect them taking a hard look at it. I'd take a hard look at it as well. I took a hard look at it before I decided to run," he added.
"And I feel good. I feel excited about the prospects. And I think we're on the verge of really turning the corner in a way we haven't in a long time."
Biden is currently facing challenges for the Democratic nomination for president from Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.