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John Kerry Says He Will Not Run for US President in 2008


Democratic Senator John Kerry says he will not run for president in 2008, saying now is not the time to mount another campaign.

During a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, Kerry said he wanted to spend the next two years focused on changing President Bush's policies in Iraq.

Kerry said he made a mistake when he voted to give Mr. Bush the authority to go to war, and felt a moral obligation to work towards ending American participation in the conflict.

Kerry was the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in the 2004 race. His bid for the White House ended when the state of Ohio fell to President Bush on election night.

After his defeat, some Democrats criticized him for not forcefully defending himself against Republican-affiliated political ads that suggested he did not deserve the medals he won for combat in the Vietnam War.

Kerry will not be joining an already crowded field of nine Democrats who are running for president or have signaled their intention to run. The field is led by Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton and rising political star Senator Barack Obama.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.