50 John Kerry Quotes That Truly Inspire

Last Updated:

Which are your favorite John Kerry quotes?

John Kerry is an American politician and diplomat. Coming from the U.S. Democratic Party, he is currently working as the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

He is famously known for his previous job, serving as the 68th United States Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. He notably went up as the Democratic nominee in the 2004 Presidential Election, in which he lost to incumbent President George W. Bush.

Kerry is also known to fervently speak up against the Vietnam War after returning home from the war in 1969. Along with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War organization, Kerry gained national recognition as an anti-war activist.

Here’s a collection of the most inspirational John Kerry quotes:


50 John Kerry Quotes That Truly Inspire

1. “The fact is that in too many parts of our country, we still have discrimination. And affirmative action is not just something that applies to people of color. Some people have a mistaken view of it in America. It also is with respect to women, it’s with respect to other efforts to try to reach out and be inclusive in our country.” – John Kerry

2. “In the middle of the cavernous cargo hold was a simple, aluminum coffin with a small American flag draped over it. We were bringing another American soldier, just killed, home to his family and final resting place. The starkness of his coffin in the center of the hold, the silence except for the din of the engines, was a real-time cold reminder of the consequences of decisions for which we Senators share responsibility.” – John Kerry

3. “It’s the [George Bush] president’s fiscal policies that have driven up the biggest deficits in American history. He’s added more debt to the debt of the United States in four years than all the way from George Washington to Ronald Reagan put together.” – John Kerry

4. “I will never cede the authority of our country or our security to any other nation. I’ll never give a veto over American security to any other entity – not a nation, not a country, not an institution.” – John Kerry

5. “Think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction-all challenges that know no borders-the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.” – John Kerry

6. “I want to fully fund education, No Child Left Behind, special-needs education. And that’s how we’re going to be more competitive, by making sure our kids are graduating from school and college.” – John Kerry

7. “Our military is overextended. Nine out of 10 active-duty Army divisions are either in Iraq, going to Iraq, or have come back from Iraq. One way or the other, they’re wrapped up in it.” – John Kerry

8. “I believe America is safest and strongest when we are leading the world and we are leading strong alliances.” – John Kerry

9. “The military’s job is to win the war. A president’s job is to win the peace.” – John Kerry


10th of 50 John Kerry Quotes

10. “I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service.” – John Kerry


11. “Climate change is real. The science is compelling. And the longer we wait, the harder the problem will be to solve.” – John Kerry

12. “A fundamental premise of politics is we can make this work if people just never figure it out.” – John Kerry

13. “Remember the hours after Sept. 11 when we came together as one…It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.” – John Kerry

14. “I will not stop in our efforts to hunt down and kill the terrorists.” – John Kerry

15. “I can’t take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an Atheist. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America.” – John Kerry

16. “My definition of patriotism is to defend your country with the truth, no matter the consequences.” – John Kerry

17. “If America can go to the moon, then in the decades to come we should not ever have to have young Americans sent to any part of the world to defend and die for America`s gluttony on fossil fuel.” – John Kerry

18. “I saw how different life was on different sides of the same city. I saw the fear in the eyes of people who were not free. I saw the gratitude of people toward the United States for all that we had done. I felt goosebumps as I got off a military train and heard the Army band strike up Stars and Stripes Forever.” – John Kerry

19. “I’m against the partial-birth abortion, but you’ve got to have an exception for the life of the mother and the health of the mother under the strictest test of bodily injury to the mother.” – John Kerry


20th of 50 John Kerry Quotes

20. “I still believe America’s destiny is to become a living testament to what free human beings can accomplish by acting in unity.” – John Kerry


21. “And here and now we must insist again that fidelity, honor, and love of country demand untrammeled debate and open dissent. At no time is that truer than in the midst of a war rooted in deceit and justified by continuing deception.” – John Kerry

22. “In order to have the best intelligence in the world to know who the terrorists are and where they are and what they’re plotting, you’ve got to have the best cooperation you’ve ever had in the world.” – John Kerry

23. “Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, others, knew how to lead. They knew how to ask the American people for the right things.” – John Kerry

24. “I’m a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.” – John Kerry

25. “I’m going to be a president who believes in science.” – John Kerry

26. “Today, if you’re an American business, you actually get a benefit for going overseas. You get to defer your taxes. So if you’re looking at a competitive world, you say to yourself, Hey, I do better overseas than I do here in America.” – John Kerry

27. “The problem with the American healthcare system that it is not working for the American family.” – John Kerry

28. “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force– if necessary– to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” – John Kerry

29. “The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years, we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation.” – John Kerry


30th of 50 John Kerry Quotes

30. “This is deeply disturbing. Congress provided loans to help businesses hurt by the Sept. 11 attacks, not to be used as an accounting gimmick to cover up this administration’s failure to provide for small businesses.” – John Kerry


31. “Great physicians and nurses, skilled, caring, and unparalleled in their training, intervened in my life and probably saved it. I was lucky but other Americans are not. It is time to speak again and stand again for the ideal that in the richest nation ever on this planet, it is wrong for 41 million Americans, most of them in working families, to worry at night and wake up in the morning without the basic protection of health insurance.” – John Kerry

32. “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” – John Kerry

33. “It’s pretty standard fare in political discourse. You misconstrue what somebody said. You isolate a statement, you lend your interpretation to it, and then feign moral outrage. And Democrats have been doing it for years.” – John Kerry

34. “Folks, Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from Alaska. Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.” – John Kerry

35. “Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.” – John Kerry

36. “There is no bigger judgment for a president of the United States than how you take a nation to war.” – John Kerry

37. “I don’t know what compassionate conservative means. Does it mean cutting kids out of after-school programs, Does it mean drilling in the arctic wildlife refuge? Does it mean sending kids to Iraq without body armor that’s state of the art?” – John Kerry

38. “I know that our country is strongest when we lead the world when we lead strong alliances. And that’s the way Eisenhower and Reagan and Kennedy and others did it.” – John Kerry

39. “I don’t believe we need a good conservative judge, and I don’t believe we need a good liberal judge. I subscribe to the Justice Potter Stewart standard. He was a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. And he said the mark of a good judge, good justice, is that when you’re reading their decision, their opinion, you can’t tell if it’s written by a man or woman, a liberal or a conservative, a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian. You just know you’re reading a good judicial decision.” – John Kerry


40th of 50 John Kerry Quotes

40. “What we need to do is raise the minimum wage. We also need to hold onto equal pay. Women work for 76 cents on the dollar for the same work that men do. That’s not right in America.” – John Kerry


41. “I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. And when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.” – John Kerry

42. “I believe that this president [George W. Bush], regrettably, rushed us into a war, made decisions about foreign policy, pushed alliances away. And, as a result, America is now bearing this extraordinary burden where we are not as safe as we ought to be.” – John Kerry

43. “So we can do a better job of homeland security. I can do a better job of waging a smarter, more effective war on terror and guarantee that we will go after the terrorists. I will hunt them down, and we’ll kill them, we’ll capture them. We’ll do whatever is necessary to be safe.” – John Kerry

44. “I have a plan to protect the environment so that we leave this place in better shape to our children than we were handed it by our parents.” – John Kerry

45. “Medicare is paid for by the American taxpayer. Medicare belongs to you. Medicare is for seniors, who many of them are on fixed income, to lift them out of poverty.” – John Kerry

46. “We need to guarantee equal rights and civil rights and say that, here in America, workers have the right to organize – women have the right to choose – and justice belongs to everyone regardless of race or gender or sexual orientation.” – John Kerry

47. “We are all proud of is World War II where we went in, we were decisive, we came to the conclusion that freedom prevailed, and we were heroes.” – John Kerry

48. “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” – John Kerry

49. “Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid down in scriptures, clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth. And for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God.” – John Kerry

50. “It’s very hard to get other countries to give up their weapons when you’re busy developing a new one.” – John Kerry



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from John Kerry! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite John Kerry quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lil Nas X Net...

What is Lil Nas X's net worth? Introduction  As of ...

Tommy Tuberville Net Worth

What is Tommy Tuberville's net worth?  Introduction  Tommy Tuberville is a...

Ahmad Rashad Net Worth

What is Ahmad Rashad's net worth?  Introduction  Ahmad Rashad is an...

Katie Price Net Worth

What is Katie Price's net worth?  Introduction  Katie Price is an...

Michael Jai White Net...

What is Michael Jai White's net worth?  Introduction  Michael Jai White...

Idina Menzel Net Worth

What is Idina Menzel's net worth?  Introduction  Idina Menzel is an...

Latest Net Worth Profiles

Cory Joseph Net Worth

As the point guard for the Detroit Pistons, Cory Joseph has earned a significant net worth as one of the most talented players on the court.

Tommy Lee Jones Net...

Follow Tommy Lee Jones' rise to stardom from Texas cowboy to Hollywood star.

B.o.B Net Worth

B.o.B. has created a million-dollar income in his short career, becoming wealthy through his musical ability and engaging live performances.

Alexander Gustafsson Net Worth

Alexander Gustafsson is among the greatest mixed martial artists to come from Sweden, as well as one of the greatest to never win a title in the UFC.

42 Dugg Net Worth

Best known for his singles "We Paid" and "Grace," 42 Dugg has become one of the biggest up-and-coming rappers in the music industry.

Adin Ross Net Worth

Adin Ross streamed himself to millionaire status by giving his audience a view into his entertaining and exciting life becoming fantastically rich in the process.

The Kid Laroi Net...

The Kid Laroi overcame a difficult childhood to become Australia’s most successful rapper and is set to become even wealthier from his enormous talent.

Too Short Net Worth

Too Short’s rap career has earned him millions as an artist and producer.

Warren G Net Worth

You can't tell the story of 1990s hip hop without Warren G, who helped to revolutionize west coast rap and made it more mainstream.

Wyclef Jean Net Worth

Wyclef Jean's musical talent raked in millions of dollars before his tragic downfall into obscurity.