Former secretary of state and close Biden ally John Kerry categorically denied that he’s considering a presidential run after he was overheard Sunday discussing the move to prevent Senator Bernie Sanders’s election.
“I am absolutely not running for President,” Kerry tweeted, after deleting a previous denial that included the caveat that “any report otherwise is f***ing (or categorically) false.”
As I told the reporter, I am absolutely not running for President. Any report otherwise is categorically false. I’ve been proud to campaign with my good friend Joe Biden, who is going to win the nomination, beat Trump, and make an outstanding president.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) February 2, 2020
Kerry was overheard by NBC News in the lobby of an Iowa restaurant, discussing the steps to make a possible run.
“Maybe I’m f***ing deluding myself here,” Kerry said, before adding that he would need to “raise a couple of million” and also step down from the board of Bank of America before even entering the race. He reportedly suggested the move might be necessary to prevent “the possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole.”
Kerry told NBC News that the report was “a complete and total misinterpretation based on overhearing only one side of a phone conversation,” and said he was asked by “a friend who watches too much cable” if he would ever considering joining “late in the game if Democrats were choosing an unelectable nominee.”
In January, Kerry told NBC News that “I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I don’t come out here and have fun and your juices don’t get going,” after being asked whether he regretted not entering the Democratic primary.
According to the latest Iowa-caucus polling average from RealClearPolitics, Biden trails Sanders by four points heading into the Iowa caucuses on Monday.
Kerry endorsed Biden in December “as the person for the moment” — immediately making him one of the highest-profile supporters of the former vice president.