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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Abandons Democratic Primary, Opts for Independent Presidential Run

by Madison Thomas
6 comments
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Independent Presidential Run

Prominent environmental attorney and anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced on Monday that he will forgo his Democratic primary campaign to run for President of the United States as an independent candidate. This development adds complexity to the anticipated 2024 face-off between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Kennedy made the announcement at Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, a historically significant location where the founding documents of the United States were ratified. He cited an increasing “wave of dissatisfaction” across the nation and expressed his intent to draft a “new Declaration of Independence” — emancipating the country from the influence of major corporations, media houses, and both major political parties.

“In order to challenge the pervasive corruption that undermines affordable living, our faith in the future, and mutual respect, I must initially declare my own independence — from the Democratic Party and any other political affiliations,” Kennedy stated.

Despite being a scion of one of the most prominent Democratic families in American politics, Kennedy has been considered an outsider in the Democratic primaries. Interestingly, his approval ratings have been higher among Republicans than Democrats. Whether this Republican support will persist into the general election, especially against Donald Trump, remains to be seen. Allies of both Biden and Trump have pondered if Kennedy would serve as a disruptive force against their respective candidates.

“Indeed, both camps have reason to worry, as my objective is to unsettle the political landscape for both parties,” Kennedy remarked during his speech.

Ahead of Kennedy’s announcement, a Democratic National Committee spokesman dismissed his primary campaign as not serious. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee circulated a fact sheet denouncing Kennedy as a “Radical DEMOCRAT,” enumerating instances when he backed liberal causes or conspiracy theories.

Kennedy’s announcement was met with enthusiasm by hundreds of supporters, who occasionally chanted, “RFK, all the way!” Campaign materials hinted at a potential slogan: “Declare Your Independence.”

Among those in attendance were individuals who did not identify with either major political party but see Kennedy as a candid and refreshing option. Others, who had previously supported Trump, expressed a desire for change and unity in American politics.

Four of Kennedy’s ten siblings issued a collective statement condemning his decision, saying, “Though Bobby shares our father’s name, he does not share the same values, vision, or judgment. His independent candidacy against Joe Biden is perilous for our nation.”

This news follows the recent announcement by progressive activist Cornel West, who also abandoned his Green Party campaign to run as an independent. Concurrently, centrist organization No Labels is working to secure ballot access for an as-yet-unnamed candidate.

For weeks, Kennedy has criticized the Democratic National Committee for allegedly manipulating the primary process against him, fueling speculation that he might seek an alternative path.

Kennedy’s affiliations with far-right and anti-vaccine groups have also been the subject of media attention. He has previously appeared on channels promoting conspiracy theories and has received endorsement from some far-right quarters due to his skepticism of COVID-19 vaccines, which are substantiated to be safe and effective by numerous studies.

Kennedy’s organization, Children’s Health Defense, is currently embroiled in legal action against several media outlets, accusing them of antitrust violations related to the identification of misinformation, including that concerning COVID-19 and its vaccines.

Contributions to this report were made by Michelle Smith and Will Weissert of Big Big News.

Big Big News is supported by several private foundations to augment its detailed coverage of elections and democratic processes. The responsibility for all content rests solely with the Associated Press.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Independent Presidential Run

Who announced an independent presidential run for the 2024 election?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent environmental attorney and anti-vaccine advocate, announced that he will run for President of the United States as an independent candidate in the 2024 election.

Where did Robert F. Kennedy Jr. make his announcement?

He made his announcement at Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, a historical location where America’s founding documents were ratified.

What are Kennedy’s main points of focus for his campaign?

Kennedy cited a “wave of dissatisfaction” across the nation and expressed his intent to draft a “new Declaration of Independence” — emancipating the country from the influence of major corporations, media houses, and both major political parties.

What is the expected impact of Kennedy’s independent candidacy on the 2024 presidential election?

Kennedy’s move adds complexity to the anticipated 2024 face-off between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Allies of both Biden and Trump have pondered if Kennedy would serve as a disruptive force against their respective candidates.

How have the Democratic and Republican National Committees responded to Kennedy’s announcement?

A Democratic National Committee spokesman dismissed Kennedy’s primary campaign as not serious. The Republican National Committee circulated a fact sheet denouncing Kennedy as a “Radical DEMOCRAT” and enumerating instances when he backed liberal causes or conspiracy theories.

What was the public reaction to Kennedy’s announcement?

Kennedy’s announcement was met with enthusiasm by hundreds of supporters. Some individuals who did not identify with either major political party see Kennedy as a candid and refreshing option.

What is the stance of Kennedy’s family on his candidacy?

Four of Kennedy’s ten siblings issued a collective statement condemning his decision. They stated that while he shares their father’s name, he does not share the same values, vision, or judgment.

What other notable developments have recently occurred in the 2024 presidential race?

Progressive activist Cornel West also recently abandoned his Green Party campaign to run as an independent. Additionally, the centrist organization No Labels is working to secure ballot access for an as-yet-unnamed candidate.

Is Kennedy currently involved in any lawsuits?

Yes, Kennedy’s organization, Children’s Health Defense, is currently embroiled in legal action against several media outlets, accusing them of antitrust violations related to the identification of misinformation, including that concerning COVID-19 and its vaccines.

More about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Independent Presidential Run

  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Official Campaign Website
  • Philadelphia’s Independence Mall: Historical Background
  • Democratic National Committee Official Statement
  • Republican National Committee Fact Sheet on Kennedy
  • Cornel West’s Independent Candidacy Announcement
  • No Labels Organization
  • Children’s Health Defense Official Website
  • 2024 Presidential Election Polls
  • Information on COVID-19 Vaccines and Safety

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6 comments

Anna_B October 9, 2023 - 9:30 pm

His own family’s against him? Yikes, that says a lot. but then again, politics is a dirty game. Who knows what’s really goin on behind the scenes.

Reply
SarahG October 10, 2023 - 12:07 am

Oh my god, another Kennedy in politics? as if the family legacy isn’t complicated enough. But gotta say, his move to run independent is bold.

Reply
JustineT October 10, 2023 - 12:55 am

Kennedy goin against both parties? I’m kinda here for it. Sick of the same old same old, maybe this will make people think twice about who they vote for.

Reply
Derek_Z October 10, 2023 - 3:48 am

gotta be honest, don’t know what to make of this. It’s like, on one hand, yeah, we need change. but on the other hand, can we trust him? the guy’s an anti-vaxxer.

Reply
Rick_D October 10, 2023 - 4:26 am

This is crazy. first Cornel West and now Kennedy. The 2024 race is becoming a real circus, lol. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

Reply
Mike_Jones October 10, 2023 - 1:58 pm

Wow, RFK Jr. goin independent? That’s a game changer for sure. wonder how this is gonna shake things up in 2024.

Reply

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