Actor Ben Affleck is refusing comment on a slew of recent reports that he's a candidate for Massachusetts' soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat.
In Washington to raise awareness about the violence plaguing Congo, Affleck was also scheduled to meet Wednesday with other D.C. lawmakers.
Among them? Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), a fellow Boston native, who is widely believed to be replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2013.
Clinton will step down once her replacement is named by President Barack Obama. Kerry's appointment would open up a special election for his U.S. Senate seat.
The Argo director wouldn't discuss the speculation with Politico.
“That’s not what I’m here to talk about,” Affleck said. “I’m here to talk about what role we can play in making the Eastern Congo a better place.”
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the politically active actor-director was being touted as a potential candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.
Another potential candidate on the Democratic side? Ted Kennedy Jr., the late senator’s son. His adviser said he would give “very serious consideration” to running.
Kerry spokesman Alec Gerlach also declined to comment on Affleck’s political rumors. But Gerlach confirmed that Affleck would meet with Kerry.
“I’m at home,” Affleck, a Cambridge native, quipped with a smile to a handful of photographers as he took his seat inside the Rayburn House Office Building.
Affleck’s most recent film, about a CIA plot to rescue Americans trapped in Tehran in 1979, had him making the political and TV news rounds this fall.
During his testimony, he joked about his political ideology (solidly Democratic) after a reference was made to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
“The Heritage Foundation never offered me membership,” he joked.
“I guess it’s fitting that I’m on the far left of the panel.”
Affleck testified that he will make his 10th visit to Congo within the next year. He said helping Congo does not necessarily mean increased aid.
He called on government to bring global leaders together to address the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo during his testimony before Congress.
Affleck - who founded the Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010 - told members about the estimated 5 million deaths Congo has seen in the past 14 years.
He urged President Barack Obama to bring world leaders together to address the crisis. Will he join the Senate and lobby for such aid from the inside?