Kerry endorses Biden for president

Former Secretary of State says former VP is the candidate "to fix what Trump has broken".

Elad Benari ,

John Kerry and Joe Biden
John Kerry and Joe Biden

Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president in the 2020 race.

"I believe Joe Biden is the President our country desperately needs right now, not because I've known Joe so long, but because I know Joe so well," Kerry said in a statement quoted by CNN.

The endorsement from Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, gives Biden a new way of signaling the Democratic establishment rallying at least in part around his candidacy.

"Through it all, I've seen Joe tested in public service and tested in life itself. I know his character. I know the measure of a person who never stopped fighting for millions of Americans even as his beloved son was losing a heartbreaking battle with cancer. Joe's strength and his moral center are inspiring. But so are his skills as a leader," Kerry continued.

Kerry, who won the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in 2004, will join Biden on the campaign trail in Iowa Friday, Biden’s campaign said. He will also travel to New Hampshire later this weekend.

Kerry made calls to some Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday, giving them a heads up that he was intending to endorse Biden, a Kerry aide told CNN. He made calls at least to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. It is unclear whether he called other candidates.

"I don't endorse lightly," Kerry said. "Joe and I both got into public service to make our country fairer for people and make the world safer. I've watched Joe do exactly that as a senator, statesman, and vice president."

"Joe will defeat Donald Trump next November. He's the candidate with the wisdom and standing to fix what Trump has broken, to restore our place in the world, and improve the lives of working people here at home," the former Secretary of State continued.

The timing of the endorsement was determined by the Biden campaign, a Biden adviser said, as the campaign continues to make an argument of electability and experience.

The timing is also part of the Biden campaign's effort to try and slow South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's momentum in Iowa and beyond, according to CNN.

Kerry has consistently ripped Trump since Trump has taken office, particularly over the President’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Kerry orchestrated during his time as Secretary of State.

In November of 2017, Kerry warned Congress that it would be "extraordinarily dangerous" for it to reject the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

He subsequently warned that Trump risked driving Iran towards nuclear proliferation if he cancels the deal.

In January, Kerry said that if he could speak to Trump directly, he would tell him to "resign”.

Trump has fired back at Kerry, particularly over his meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an effort to save the Iran deal, saying the meetings were illegal.

Kerry has justified his meetings with Iranian officials, arguing that every former secretary of state continues to meet with foreign leaders.