Kerry Won't Join 2008 White House Race

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, says he has decided not to run for president in 2008.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Today, one fewer Democrat is in the running for president.

Senator JOHN KERRY (Democrat, Massachusetts): We came close, Mr. President, certainly close enough to be tempted to try again.

INSKEEP: On the Senate floor yesterday, Senator John Kerry said he would not make a second bid for the White House. The Massachusetts Democrat narrowly lost the presidency to President Bush in 2004.

Sen. KERRY: There are powerful reasons to want to continue that fight now. But I've concluded this isn't the time for me to mount a presidential campaign. It is the time to put my energy to work as part of the majority in the Senate, to do all I can in this war and strengthen our security and our ability to fight the real war on terror.

MONTAGNE: John Kerry made his announcement at the conclusion of a 30-minute speech attacking President Bush's Iraq policy. His decision wasn't a big surprise. Democrats said they expected Kerry to decide not to run after weighing his support within the party.

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