“Democratic” presidential candidate Dean Phillips proved he’s willing to get in bed with Fox News and attack Joe Biden for the sake of his own presidential ambitions.
I don’t have a problem with Democrats or even Democratic candidates going on Fox News, per se. But to go on Fox and help them with their anti-Biden agenda because you think it will help you win a very long-shot presidential campaign is either extremely naïve or something more unscrupulous. Or both.
In any event, Phillips should have known that despite praising Biden’s policies and criticizing Donald Trump’s dangers, his appearance on Fox & Friends this morning played right into the MAGA network’s game plan.
Phillips told Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, “I am on a mission to defeat Donald Trump. I really do believe he's dangerous for this country.” But Phillips acted more like someone on a mission to defeat Joe Biden – and help Fox News do so in the process.
Here’s Phillips carrying Fox’s water by painting Biden as too old for the job and anti-democratic to boot.
PHILLIPS: I see this train wreck occurring and someone's got to say the quiet part out loud all I am is telling the truth. The same thing everybody in Washington talks about quietly behind closed doors, getting in front of TV cameras, and it's a totally different ballgame. By the way on both sides of the aisle. Someone has to practice democracy. And if not me, who and if not now, when I tried to get others to enter this race, and they're sheepish, they don't have the courage to meet the moment they'd rather wait until it's their turn and that's the problem in politics.
I take Phillips at his word that he is a crusader for democracy but it’s beyond ironic that he’d do so on the network that tried to undermine the results of our last presidential election and seeded the Big Lie that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection – which Fox pretends didn’t really happen.
I’ll also take Phillips at his word that he’s running to “serve my country.” But please believe me, Mr. Phillips, when I say that unless you secretly believe that helping Fox’s MAGA propaganda is patriotic, your appearance accomplished nothing of the sort.
Phillips did tell Kilmeade and the viewers “I really celebrate” some of Biden’s achievements. And there’s nothing wrong with talking up his centrist mindset or him calling the southern border “a disaster.” But it's a big deal that President Biden wants to work with Congress, while House Republicans are sabotaging a border deal and Donald Trump is pressuring Republicans not to make a deal because it might impede his and their quest for political power. Phillips didn't say a word about how he'd do better. And did I mention that Fox News figures are also applying sabotaging pressure?
I’ll bet the Fox producers are rubbing their hands with glee when Phillips suggested he might run as a third party candidate. When asked if he might join the No Labels party, Phillips said, “Look, every business success I had was a long shot. And I know this is too. I'm going to be relentless. I'm going to be resolute and I'm going to do what my country needs. I don't care what both parties say and what mine does. Gotta keep going.”
My point in all this is not to criticize Phillips' thoughts on policy or his critique of Biden. It’s doing so on Fox News. If he thinks Trump is a danger to this country, he really ought to pay more attention to how Fox News is promoting and enabling him.
You can watch the full interview below, from the Jan. 22, 2024 Fox & Friends.
Thankfully, Biden had a strong finish tonight, despite not being on the ballot.
Folks – this is a binary race. There are only two choices. Unless Chump is somehow removed from the gameboard altogether through conviction & incarceration, or is taking the long dirt nap from too many hamberders, those are the choices. Democracy & freedom or authoritarian dictatorship for rich white people only.