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John Kerry, Former N.H. Primary Winner, Joins Biden on Campaign Trail

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent Sunday in New Hampshire campaigning for Joe Biden, part of an endorsement tour that included stops in Nashua and Hampton. The two former senators have known and worked with each other for decades, including during the Obama Administration, where Kerry was the nation’s top foreign diplomat.

Speaking with NHPR before a rally held at a chilly indoor tennis court in Hampton, Kerry said Biden’s resume makes him the Democratic party’s best choice to take on President Trump. 

“I think we need to restore America to a calm, clear, experienced hand, where we begin to rebuild our relationships in the world, and I know Joe Biden can do that,” said Kerry. 

During his own campaign for the presidency in 2004, Kerry won the New Hampshire primary, and went on to become his party’s nominee. He lost the general election to President George W. Bush.

When asked if it was time for a new generation of Democrats to lead the party, Kerry said that there is too much at stake -- from climate change to global instability -- to not choose the most experienced option. 

“The question is: What have you done? What is your life, what is your experience, what are you bringing to the table? This is the presidency of the United States...people earn it," Kerry said.

While on stage, Kerry misspoke during an anecdote about his own time campaigning in New Hampshire, incorrectly saying that the famous Old Man of the Mountain rock outcropping was located in Massachusetts, not New Hampshire. Biden jokingly slinked off the stage to sit in the audience, drawing warm laughs from the crowd. Kerry quickly corrected his slip of the tongue.

Biden’s own stump speech centered on his campaign theme of restoring the soul of the country, as well as the urgent need to heal divisions.

“The next president of the United States is going to inherit a world that is in jeopardy, and a nation that is divided,” he told the crowd. “If we can’t unite the country, we can’t make it. We can’t make it.”  

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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