(CNSNews.com) – Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign for the White House secured its most high-profile endorsement yet on Thursday, with former Secretary of State John Kerry describing him as “the candidate with the wisdom and standing to fix what [President] Trump has broken.”
“I’ve never before seen the world more in need of someone who on day one can begin the incredibly hard work of putting back together the world Donald Trump has smashed apart,” Kerry said in a statement.
“There’s never been a time more urgent for leadership at home that can work for the middle class and tackle existential issues like climate change where we are moving dangerously backwards,” he said. “Joe is uniquely the person running for president who can beat Donald Trump and get to work on day one at home and in the world with no time to waste.”
The relationship between the two men – Biden is 77, Kerry turns 76 next week – goes back decades. They served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee together for 24 years and when Biden became vice president in 2009 Kerry succeeded him as the committee’s chairman.
Four years later Kerry went on to serve as secretary of state in the Obama-Biden administration’s second term.
His endorsement of Biden puts an end to speculation that Kerry could himself join the 2020 Democratic primary race, an idea he has toyed with over time.
Early last year Kerry allegedly told a confidante of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas that if Trump lasts a full first term, he may mount another challenge for the White House.
Last November, Kerry responded to a question about a prospective 2020 run by saying he was thinking about it and “not taking anything off the table.”
At the same time, he said he was open to endorsing another candidate – one who he thinks can win and wants to address issues important to him. But he added that as things stood at the time, “I don’t see the person yet that I’m prepared to say that about.”
Kerry will join Biden’s “No Malarkey” tour this week, accompanying the presidential hopeful at events in Iowa and New Hampshire. The Biden campaign in a statement noted pointedly that Kerry had won both the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in 2004.
(Kerry was the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 2004 presidential election. Biden endorsed him, joined his foreign policy team, and was viewed as a strong prospect for secretary of state in a Kerry administration. Kerry lost the general election by 251 electoral college votes to President George W. Bush’s 286.)
In his statement Thursday Kerry touched on some key issues which he and Biden had worked on together, including the New START arms reduction treaty with Russia and the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran.
With Biden as vice president presiding over the vote and Kerry as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman championing the treaty, the Senate approved New START in December 2010.
As secretary of state, Kerry led the negotiations that produced the JCPOA, an agreement touted by the Obama-Biden administration as an momentous foreign policy achievement, but denounced by Republicans. Trump withdrew from the deal last year and restored sanctions against the regime that had been lifted under it.
‘I know more than most people know’
In his statement, Kerry called Biden “an advocate and an ally on the hardest issues, from diplomacy to end the Iranian nuclear threat that Donald Trump’s let back out of the bottle, to building the military and diplomatic strategy that beat back [ISIS] and ultimately routed them from the territory they once held.”
Kerry’s endorsement came a day after the Biden campaign released a video featuring images and commentary mocking Trump – “they’re laughing at him” – followed by images of Biden as vice president meeting with world leaders and on travels abroad. It ends with the message, “We need a leader the world respects.”
Another video going viral on social media – not one released by the Biden campaign – showed the candidate clashing with a man in Iowa who accused him of helping his son, Hunter Biden, to secure a cushy job in Ukraine and of “selling access to the president.”
“You’re a damn liar, man,” Biden retorted. “That’s not true. And no-one has ever said that.”
The man, reported to be in his 80s, also said he worried Biden was “too old” to be president.
“Look, the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know. And I can get things done,” Biden said. “That’s why I’m running. And you wanna check my shape on, let’s do push-ups together here, man. Let’s run. Let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s take an IQ test.”