HAMPTON, N.H. ― Speaking to voters in a restaurant in New Hampshire’s seacoast on Sunday, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, once again refused to rule out the possibility of mounting a third-party bid under the banner of the centrist group, No Labels.
Asked about the idea by a member of the audience at his meet-and-greet event, Phillips responded by citing the possibility of circumstances in which it was the surest route to prevent former President Donald Trump from winning again. “I will do anything it takes as long as the data supports it to defeat the most dangerous man in the world,” he said.
A day earlier, Phillips it asked the Department of Justice to investigate efforts by Democrats to interfere with its efforts to get on the ballot. Also last week, the group’s founding chairman, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), dangled the possibility of nominating former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as their presidential candidate if she falls short in her bid for the Republican nomination. Haley’s campaign immediately dismissed the idea by saying that she has “no interest in No Labels.”
Phillips defended the group by noting that it only plans to run its own presidential ticket if Biden and Trump are the two major parties’ respective presidential nominees.
“If you vote for me and we start this thing with a huge shocker, we won’t have to worry about third-party candidates, because you know what? No Labels is only going to activate if it is a Biden and Trump matchup. So vote for me, let’s end [the] conversation about it!” he said, eliciting applause from the crowd of more than 50 people who assembled to see him.