Son of Biden's Political Hero - Robert F. Kennedy - Launches Campaign to Unseat Him
Oh, the irony.
The son of President Joe Biden’s biggest political hero formally announced his candidacy to replace him.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — the second oldest son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy — made it official with a campaign kickoff event in Boston Wednesday.
“I’ve come here today to announce my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States,” Kennedy said.
“My mission over the next 18 months of this campaign, and throughout my presidency, will be to end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power that is threatening now to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism on our country.”
RFK Jr., 69, who made his mark as an environmental attorney, in recent years has targeted the pharmaceutical industry and raised concerns about the safety of some vaccines, including those for COVID-19.
Kennedy was also a critic of the pandemic lockdowns. He credited former President Donald Trump with having the right instincts in opposing them, but faulted him for not holding his ground.
“He knew that he shouldn’t have closed down the country. But he did it. He got rolled by his bureaucracy,” Kennedy said.
Robert Kennedy Jr on Covid measures under Trump:
“He had the right instincts, he knew that he shouldn’t have closed down the country. But he did it. He got rolled by his bureaucracy.”pic.twitter.com/YjaYSMYSJ5
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) April 19, 2023
To Trump’s credit, by April 2020, about a month into the restrictions, he was telling governors they could begin to open back up and by that summer he was forcefully calling on all schools to reopen for the start of the new academic year that fall.
In a 2021 interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Kennedy argued that nearly all Americans’ Bill of Rights protections were violated by the government during the pandemic.
“The rise of censorship, the rise of the suppression of religious freedoms, of property rights, closing a million businesses without just compensation or due process, the abolition of jury trials, which are guaranteed by the Sixth and Seventh Amendment for any vaccine company that hurts you, all of these — and the rise of a kind of track-and-trace surveillance state has been troubling to people, both Democrats and Republicans,” Kennedy said.
“During that first year, we literally got rid of every amendment to the Constitution except the Second Amendment,” he added.
On Wednesday following his announcement, Kennedy reiterated his support for protecting Americans’ rights, tweeting, “We have a government today that is scared of its people. And I say to this, if people want integrity, they should vote for me. If people want to protect the Constitution, they should vote for me. If people think that the Bill of Rights is still relevant, they need to vote for me.”
We have a government today that is scared of its people. And I say to this, if people want integrity, they should vote for me. If people want to protect the Constitution, they should vote for me. If people think that the Bill of Rights is still relevant, they need to vote for me.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) April 19, 2023
Interestingly, like his father and uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, RFK Jr. is challenging the Democrat incumbent president.
In March 1968, RFK Sr. announced his candidacy to replace then-President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson, though widely expected to run that year, told the American people just weeks after RFK’s entry into the race that he would not be seeking another term.
In 1980, Ted Kennedy sought to replace then-President Jimmy Carter as the Democrat nominee, but came up short.
The common denominator in both instances is that the incumbent was very unpopular, like Biden is now. Carter would go on to lose in a landslide to former GOP California Gov. Ronald Reagan.
It is ironic that Bobby Kennedy’s son would be challenging Biden, given the president’s admiration for RFK.
Biden actually has a bust of him in the Oval Office.
This is a photo taken in the Oval Office on March 17, 2023. See the bronze statue on the table behind President Biden? That’s a bust of Robert F. Kennedy. Does it stay on the table now that RFK Jr. is running for president? New contest: Guess its replacement! pic.twitter.com/01ZsLsknnh
— Susan Shelley (@Susan_Shelley) April 5, 2023
At a 2020 campaign event, Biden said his two political heroes are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose bust is also in the Oval Office, and Robert Kennedy.
In 2016, Biden received the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award, which was handed to him by the late attorney general’s wife, Ethel Kennedy.
At the event, Biden called RFK, “the one true hero of my life” and receiving the award, “the single greatest honor of my life,” Newsweek reported.
.@JoeBiden accepting the Ripple of Hope Award from Ethel Kennedy. #RFKennedyGala pic.twitter.com/HxDI5V5mSW
— Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (@RFKHumanRights) December 7, 2016
When Biden ran for the presidency for the first time in 1987, he had to bow out of the race after it was revealed that he had extensively plagiarized Robert Kennedy’s words in some of his campaign speeches.
Biden described RFK then as “the man who I guess I admire more than anyone else in American politics,” according to The New York Times.
A USA Today/Suffolk University poll found Robert Kennedy Jr. enjoys 14 percent support among Democrats for the nomination compared to Biden’s 67 percent, with 13 percent undecided. Of course, RFK Jr. has just thrown his hat in the ring.
A Monmouth University poll published last month found that 44 percent of Democrats prefer that Biden not run for a second term, while only 25 percent want him to, so Kennedy definitely has room to grow his support base.
It would be something if the son of Biden’s biggest political hero ended his career.
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