PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – EXCLUSIVE: Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson claims that President Biden and the Democratic Party establishment are “mocking” her and “trying to suppress [her] voice” as she runs for the White House a second straight time.
Williamson, a best-selling author and spiritual adviser who’s the first Democrat with a national following to primary challenge the president, emphasized in a national exclusive interview with Fox News Digital that she hopes to debate Biden, if he goes forward as expected and launches a 2024 re-election campaign.
But Williamson, referring to Biden officials and the Democratic National Committee, said: “I don’t think anybody has any illusions that they intend in any way, shape, or form, for the president to share the stage with me.”
While most leaders in the Democratic Party from both the establishment and progressive wings say they will support Biden if he seeks a second term, Williamson — who called for reparations and a Department of Peace as part of her unsuccessful long-shot campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — has said the U.S. is on the “wrong road” under Biden and that it was “time to move on” from the 80-year-old president.
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On Saturday, she launched her 2024 campaign at an event at Union Station in the nation’s capital.
When asked on Monday if the president was annoyed with the launch of Williamson’s campaign, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared to mock the candidate, saying: “I’m not tracking that. I mean, if I had a – what is it called? A little globe here – a crystal ball, then I could tell you. A magic eight-ball or whatever. If I could feel her aura.”
During his first year in the White House, Biden told his staff that anyone found treating a colleague with disrespect would be fired on the spot. Williamson on Wednesday told Fox News that “I wouldn’t say that anybody should be let go, because I’m not going try to get anybody fired from their job. But I think the president might note that hypocrisy and might say something respectful.”
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“I think it would be very appropriate for the president to say that he does respect the Constitution, that he does respect the right of people to run for office. I would like to hear that from the president,” she added.
Public opinion polling indicates Biden leagues ahead of Williamson. Asked if she felt that the president and his team and the Democratic Party are not taking her campaign seriously, she answered: “I think it’s pretty fair to say they’re not taking me seriously. But more important than that is that they’re trying to get you to not take me seriously. Which actually means on some level they are taking me seriously.”
But she charged “that kind of mockery is purposeful. This is what they did to me last time — make her look like a laughingstock so that nobody could possibly take seriously the idea of voting for her. They know what they’re doing in doing that. It’s the talking points of the Democratic Party establishment at this point. But my hope is that people are not buying it as easily as they did last time.”
During the 2020 cycle, Williamson was an unconventional candidate who preached the politics of love. She emphasized “six pillars for a season of moral repair,” including economic justice. She proposed creating a Department of Children and Youths and a Department of Peace, and she pushed for reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves. Among her unorthodox acts was holding a meditation session while campaigning in New Hampshire.
But Williamson struggled with fundraising and failed to qualify for most of the Democrat presidential debates. Days after laying off most of her small staff, she dropped out of the race in January 2020, just ahead of the start of the nomination primaries and caucuses.
“I have a right to run. This is democracy,” Williamson told Fox News. And pointing to the Democrats, she said: “how can a party claim to be champion of democracy if anything about its initial process is the suppression of that democracy. And make no doubt about it, mocking me, deriding me, smearing me, is a way of trying to suppress my voice.”
Williamson was interviewed hours after she arrived in New Hampshire as she kicked off five days of campaigning in the traditional first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.
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She says she’ll spend plenty of her time campaigning in New Hampshire going forward. That comes as no surprise as political strategists have said that if there’s going to be a primary challenge against Biden, New Hampshire appears to be the state where the action will take place.
New Hampshire, which prides itself on a well-informed electorate and emphasis on small-scale, grassroots retail politics, has for a century held the first primary in the race for the White House. While Republicans are making no changes to their presidential nominating calendar in the 2024 election cycle, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last month voted overwhelmingly to approve a new top of the calendar pushed by Biden that upends the traditional schedule.
New Hampshire will now vote second in the DNC’s calendar, along with Nevada, three days after South Carolina, under the new schedule.
But Granite State Democrats warn that New Hampshire will still go first — courtesy of a long-standing state law that mandates the leadoff primary position — and that a primary not sanctioned by the DNC, where Biden doesn’t take part, could invite trouble for the president.
“Your primary’s going to happen on schedule. So whether or not the president participates, this is where it’s going to happen,” Williamson said. “I’m here. And I think that New Hampshire-ites have a tradition of weighing in and you will have a chance to weigh in whether the president is here or now. I hope he’s here and I hope he will debate me, but we’ll see.”
But later in the interview she acknowledged that the likelihood of her facing off with Biden on the debate stage was low.
Williamson is once again pushing “an agenda of fundamental economic reform.” She argued “that is not what the president offers. What the president offers is the amelioration of stress. What the president offers is doing what we can here and there to make life easier for people in an unjust system.”
The candidate is advocating for universal health care, tuition-free college and tech school, the removal of all college loan debt, a $15 per hour minimum wage, free childcare, and paid family and medical leave. “These are moderate positions in every other advanced democracy,” she said. “The American people have been trained to expect too little.”
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She criticized Biden’s performance in the White House, saying “when the president says ‘give me another four years to finish the job,’ what job? Because the things I’m complaining about are things he could have done in his first four years.”
And she vowed that “much more could be done and if I’m president it will be done.”