Former Secretary of State and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry made a stop in Knoxville to campaign for presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Kerry was a part of the weeklong “We Know Joe” tour, where he traveled around the state campaigning for the former vice president. The former Senator spoke to a crowd of approximately 30 people at Peace Tree Brewing on Jan. 13.

During his visit, Kerry told voters that the country is troubled right now, saying that Washington is dysfunctional and not working. He encouraged those in attendance to think about the next stage for the United States and to support Joe Biden.

“I’m telling you, my friends, we have to raise the roof of our country on this if we’re going to regain a baseline of truth and put this place back together,” Kerry said.

Kerry believes that Biden is the best-suited candidate, saying none of the other candidates have the same skill set, relationships, friendships, knowledge or experience as Biden. Kerry says the former vice president has a record of getting things done, and that he is the candidate who will fight for the middle class and everyone trying to get in it.

“This is a moment for our country to think hard about who we are and where we go,” Kerry said. “Joe Biden got the job done when it came to passing the Violence Against Women Act. He made life safer for people in America. … Joe Biden led the fight to deal with assault weapons, to get a ban on assault weapons. Joe Biden led the fight to get the Recovery Act passed.”

Kerry also spoke to Biden’s experience with passing Obamacare and giving people the choice for healthcare. He also believes that Biden has a solid rural strategy in place, saying not all of the other candidates have that.

Kerry attributes Biden’s rural strategy plan to former Iowa governor and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who endorsed Biden when he visited Knoxville in November.

Kerry, who won the 2004 Iowa Caucuses, says that Biden’s character is one required of the president. He cites Biden’s leadership, engagement and friendship as something that sets him apart from the other Democratic candidates.

With the Iowa Caucuses nearing closer, Kerry encouraged those in attendance to caucus for Biden on Feb. 3. Ultimately, he asked for voters not to send a message to the country, but to send a president.

“Do not send a message to America during this caucus,” Kerry said. “Do not send us some favorite one topic issue. Send us a president of the United States. Send us a person who can help heal the nation, heal the soul of the nation, put the country on the road to the future, and make the difference that America needs to make by reclaiming its position as a legitimate leader of the free world.”

Emma Skahill can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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