Minnesota Congressman and democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips took questions from voters during a town hall at New England College Wednesday evening.
“This is the state where it happens,” Phillips said, expressing his support for NH’s first in the nation primary tradition.
Before the event, Phillips sat down with the NewEnglander for an interview explaining why he’s running against President Joe Biden for the democratic nomination, his views on term limits within the government, Donald Trump, and the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“I’m running because Americans are asking for alternatives,” Phillips said. “80% of democrats under 30 do not want President Joe Biden to be the nominee.”
Phillips does not agree with age restrictions but supports term limits.
“There should be an eight-year term limit in the House, Senate, and Supreme Court,” Phillips said.
During the town hall, Phillips pledged to work to ensure President Donald Trump does not win the 2024 election, citing his “deep malice” towards Trump and frustration with the “culture of fear” that exists following his presidency.
Phillips told the crowd that the day after Trump won the 2016 election, both of his daughters cried.
“I promised my daughters I would do something, and I ran for Congress,” he said.
As a Jewish-American, Phillips said that the United States should be supporting Israel, because he believes that otherwise, war will come to America’s doorstep.
“Israel is our ally, our partner, the only democracy in the middle east,” Phillips said.
Phillips said there is a disconnect between what people are asking for and what the democratic party is delivering, including cannabis legalization.
“The country wants it clearly, the President hasn’t favored it,” he said.
When asked about his abortion stance during the town hall, Phillips said he supports a woman’s right to choose.
“I believe abortion should be legal, safe, and rare,” he said.
Phillips said it is time for new leadership and “time to pass the torch.”
“I’m not running to defeat the president, I’m running because Americans are asking for alternatives, they want choices,” he said.
Students interviewed after the event had differing opinions on Phillips.
“He’s so bland he makes Biden look like a radical,” said Gabe Reynolds, a second-year student at NEC.
Jonnie Jordan, a first-year student, said she was impressed by Phillips’ performance.
“I thought that he was very outspoken, and that he answered his questions fully and competently. I think that he would be a great candidate for the democratic nomination,” she said.