Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday endorsed Joe Biden for president in the 2020 race, saying the former vice president has the character and leadership skills to beat President Donald Trump.
“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 provided by the Biden campaign.
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. Support from the long-time Senate colleague of Biden and a fellow Obama administration veteran is also plucked out of the backyard of two of Biden’s rivals, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Biden, more than his Democratic rivals with much less foreign policy experience, has made his readiness for the world stage a focal point of his candidacy. Support from former President Barack Obama’s secretary of state could bolster that argument.
“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 said.
Kerry said last year he would think about a 2020 presidential bid, and said he wouldn’t take anything off the table. In 2004, he secured the Democratic presidential nomination only to lose to President George W. Bush in the general election. His 2004 bid was preceded by a lengthy career in the Senate, which he left in 2013 to serve as secretary of state in the Obama administration.
Kerry served in the Navy in Vietnam as a gunboat officer on the Mekong Delta, and was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.