(Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday won the endorsement of his party’s former presidential nominee, John Kerry, a high-profile show of support.
Kerry was the Democratic nominee in 2004, when he lost narrowly to Republican President George W. Bush.
His support could help Biden make the case that he is the Democrat best-suited to face President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. Kerry also served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama and was a longtime U.S. senator from Massachusetts.
“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, crediting Biden’s help on fighting Islamic State and striking a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
Biden argues that his foreign policy experience as a longtime senator and then Obama’s vice-president have prepared him for the White House.
But he is facing a tough primary against 14 other Democrats, including a current U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren.
Kerry will join Biden on the campaign trail on Friday in Iowa and on Sunday in New Hampshire, a state that neighbours Massachusetts and where Kerry’s endorsement may be particularly important. Iowa and New Hampshire will be the first states to select a Democratic nominee next February, and Kerry won both states in the 2004 primaries.
One of Biden’s other Democratic rivals, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, announced the endorsement of three Obama administration officials earlier on Thursday, including close Obama aide Reggie Love, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and Linda Douglass, former director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Dan Grebler