Rep. Dean Phillips issues apology for criticism of Vice President Harris: ‘I respect her’

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Rep. Dean Phillips, who is challenging President Biden in the Democratic primary, said he owed Vice President Harris an apology on Wednesday after sharing some criticisms of her during an interview with The Atlantic.

Phillips posted to X late on Wednesday and said he owed an apology.

“in the atlantic, i shared kind words about @VP harris because that’s been my personal experience and i respect her. i shouldn’t have referenced other people’s opinions. i own that and apologize to her and everyone who’s been affected by similar circumstances,” he wrote. 

The Democratic presidential candidate told the Atlantic that Harris wasn’t “well prepared” in response to a question about Harris potentially having to step up if something happened to President Biden. 

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“I hear from others who know her a lot better than I do that many think she’s not well positioned,” Phillips said of Harris. “She is not well-prepared, doesn’t have the right disposition and the right competencies to execute that office.” 

Phillips also said that “Harris’ approval numbers are even worse than Biden’s.”

He added that it wasn’t his “opinion” and said she has been “thoughtful.” 

Biden’s Democratic challenger also joined CNN’s Abby Phillip on Wednesday, who confronted him about his criticisms of the vice president.

Rep. Dean Phillips and Vice President Kamala Harris

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He told Phillip that he didn’t articulate his opinion distinctly and was trying to warn that Americans were unhappy about the hypothetical Trump-Biden rematch.

The CNN host asked him why he would repeat the negative comments about Harris. 

“Abby, I do not recall saying those words. I recall those words being shared with me and saying that’s what people have been saying,” he said.

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“I don’t recall saying those words. Let me say this though. I’m defending the vice president because I think she’s a good person. I think she is well-prepared. But I’m telling you the country has a different opinion, and that’s exactly what I said there,” he said.

Phillips also declared that he respected Biden, but the country did not want him to be re-elected.

“And, by the way, I think Joe Biden is a good person. I respect him. The country is saying they do not want him to be the next president. By the way, Democrats are saying that about both of them,” he said. “That’s all I’m pointing out. That’s not by the way that’s not me. Those are polls.”

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