As the Iowa caucuses come to a close on Monday night and America waits to see which Democratic presidential candidate scores the first 2020 election victory, news broke of another possible entry into the highly-contested race — former Secretary of State John Kerry.
According to an NBC News report from Sunday, an NBC news analyst reportedly heard Kerry — who is currently stumping for Joe Biden — discussing the exact steps he would have to take in order to enter the race. He was apparently only talking about the possibility due to the sudden surge that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — a self-described Democratic Socialist — is experiencing in the polls.
Reportedly, in the lobby of the Renaissance Savery hotel, the NBC analyst heard Kerry expressing concerns of “the possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole.”
That reportedly prompted Kerry to begin discussing to an unknown person on the other end of the call the steps in which he would need to take in order to enter the race so late in the game, even reportedly saying “maybe I’m f—-ng deluding myself here” and explaining that he would need to step down from his board position with Bank of America. He said he would also have to give up paid speeches, among other steps.
However, Kerry strongly denied the NBC report and disputed it on Twitter.
“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,” Kerry tweeted. An earlier version of the tweet contained an expletive, but was since deleted.
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
Seemingly frustrated by the reports, Kerry would later issue a statement to NBC, doubling down on his insistence that he’s not planning on making a run for the Democratic nomination under any circumstances.
“This is a complete and total misinterpretation based on overhearing only one side of a phone conversation. A friend who watches too much cable called me wondering whether I’d ever jump into the race late in the game if Democrats were choosing an unelectable nominee. I listed all the reasons I could not possibly do that and would not — and will not under any circumstances — do that,” Kerry told the network.
Kerry, who unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in 2004 — losing to former President George W. Bush — has been one of Biden’s most high-profile surrogates in the 2020 race.