Dean Phillips floats a Cabinet post for Musk or Ackman

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In a forum with Elon Musk on Monday afternoon, Democratic presidential primary challenger Dean Phillips floated a possible Cabinet post for the billionaire and his tech allies.

Phillips, who is running a longshot bid against President Joe Biden, spoke with Musk, hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman and podcast host Jason Calacanis for a wide-ranging conversation on Musk’s X spaces platform. Eventually, the topic turned to what his first 100 days in office would look like. The Minnesota representative said he would build “the most extraordinary bipartisan Cabinet in American history.”

“Maybe we will have a third of them on this spaces right now, guys,” he added.

As for other first 100 day priorities, Phillips also said he’d use “zero-based budgeting” and hire an international consulting firm to conduct a “top-down assessment” of the federal government.

Both Ackman and Calacanis said they were backing Phillips in his bid to challenge Biden, who Phillips has argued cannot win in a head-to-head contest against former President Donald Trump in 2024. Ackman has pledged $1 million to Phillips’ super PAC. Calacanis, meanwhile, introduced Musk to Phillips on the call, referring to Phillips as “an entrepreneur” and “under 80.”

Much of the spaces’ discussion centered around Phillips’ position on border policy and the national debt. But all four speakers also attacked the media and the Democratic Party for various challenges they’ve presented to Phillips’ candidacy, including his failure to get on the primary ballots in Florida and North Carolina.

“Getting candidates, especially popular candidates that are quite viable, removed from ballots is taking that decision away from the public, which is fundamentally anti-democratic,” Musk said. “Some political party shouldn't think that they know better than the public.”

Phillips, who launched his presidential bid just three months ago, is grounding his campaign in New Hampshire, where Biden will not appear on the ballot after blessing a plan to reorder the presidential nominating calendar last year.

Phillips told POLITICO this weekend that getting in the 20 percent range in the New Hampshire primary next week “would be magnificent.” Earlier, a campaign adviser floated 42 percent as a threshold for success. Recent public polls in the state have found Phillips in the high single digits and teens.

“If we surprise that night, it’s game on,” Phillips said of New Hampshire.