The Slatest

John Kerry Reportedly Overheard Discussing Joining 2020 Race Amid Concerns Over Sanders

Former Secretary of State John Kerry looks on as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on February 1, 2020 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry looks on as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on February 1, 2020 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An NBC News analyst reportedly overheard former Secretary of State John Kerry discussing the possibility of throwing his hat into the 2020 race for president out of concerns over Sen. Bernie Sanders’ rise in the polls. Kerry reportedly said Sunday that he was concerned about “the possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party—down whole.”

NBC overheard Kerry while he was talking on the phone in the lobby of a Des Moines hotel one day before the Iowa caucuses. “Maybe I’m fucking deluding myself here,” Kerry said, noting that he would have to step down from the board of Bank of America and no longer give paid speeches. Plus, donors would have to “raise a couple of million,” although he seemed optimistic about the chances because donors “now have the reality of Bernie.”

Kerry, who is one of the most high-profile endorsers of former Vice President Joe Biden, vehemently denied he was thinking of running for president. “Any report otherwise is fucking (or categorically) false,” Kerry wrote on Twitter, adding that he is confident Biden will win the nomination. He later deleted that tweet and wrote another one that deleted the profanity.

Despite the denial, NBC notes that the fact he would even talk about the issue illustrates just how some of the big names in the Democratic Party are not really happy with the current crop of candidates as well as Sanders’ growing position in the primary race. It also suggests Kerry may be concerned about Biden’s chances to win the nomination. A CBS News poll released Sunday showed Biden and Sanders are tied at 25 percent for the first choice among likely caucusgoers.