MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democratic presidential primary challenger Dean Phillips said in an interview Monday that he isn't considering running as an independent or third-party candidate right now, clarifying comments he made over the weekend.

Phillips, who's challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, told the Star Tribune on Saturday that "only if the Democratic National Committee prevents a competition and proceeds with a coronation of an unelectable candidate would I consider alternative strategies." The third-term Minnesota congressman said he remains committed to running for the Democratic nomination.

But if he loses and America is faced with a Biden-Trump general election rematch, Phillips has left open the possibility of running on a bipartisan unity ticket under the banner of the centrist group No Labels, which is considering an independent ticket.

Earlier Monday, Phillips said a bipartisan third-party ticket would need "a Ron DeSantis or a [Vivek] Ramaswamy" on it to effectively pull votes away from Trump.

"The data would likely say if Phillips was at the top of the ticket, he's going to draw a lot more from the Democrat. By the way, [Nikki] Haley would probably, too. It would have to be a Ron DeSantis or a Ramaswamy," Phillips said.

In a follow-up interview, Phillips said that he himself would never consider running alongside such a person.

"I'm not considering a No Labels bid right now, and I would never do so with people like that," Phillips said.

No Labels has reportedly tried to recruit Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and former GOP Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. The group has also floated former South Carolina Gov. Haley, but she's rejected the idea as she challenges Trump for the Republican nomination.

"It does matter who they put at the top of the ticket, and if it wasn't someone who would draw votes from Donald Trump, then it would be an unmitigated disaster," Phillips said.

He added that his party should recognize a No Labels ticket could be a "final last-ditch effort" to save America from a second Trump presidency if polls indicate the Republican is poised to defeat Biden.

No Labels spokeswoman Maryanne Martini said Monday afternoon that "it is too early to speculate on who No Labels will nominate."

"We think very highly of Dean Phillips and know him well through his work with the Problem Solvers Caucus. But No Labels is singularly focused on our efforts to secure ballot access in states across the country to ensure voters have another choice if they want it," Martini said.

Phillips' presidential campaign will face its first major test on Tuesday when New Hampshire voters head to the polls to pick their Democratic and Republican nominees. Biden is not on the ballot due to a dispute between New Hampshire and the Democratic National Committee, leaving an opening for his challengers. But Biden's supporters have mounted an energetic campaign encouraging New Hampshire voters to write his name in on their ballots.

Raymond Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said Phillips openly discussing a No Labels presidential bid just days before the state's primary election "is probably not something that's going to earn you more votes in this state."

"The No Labels movement has no traction in the state of New Hampshire," Buckley said.