Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will run for President as an independent and drop his Democratic Primary bid
Image via AP.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. RFK Jr. AP
Kennedy, a member of one of the most famous Democratic families in politics, was running a long-shot Primary bid and has better favorability ratings among Republicans than Democrats.

Longtime environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Monday he’ll run for President as an independent and drop his Democratic Primary bid, adding a wrinkle to a 2024 race heading toward a likely rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Speaking Monday from Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, where America’s founding documents were adopted, Kennedy said there is a “rising tide of discontent” in the country and said he wants to make a “new Declaration of Independence” — from corporations, the media and the two major political parties.

“I’ve come here today to declare our independence from the tyranny of corruption which robs us of affordable lives, our belief in the future, and our respect for each other,” Kennedy said. “But to do that I must first declare my own independence. Independence from the Democratic Party and from all other political parties.”

Kennedy, a member of one of the most famous Democratic families in politics, was running a long-shot Primary bid and has better favorability ratings among Republicans than Democrats. It’s unclear whether GOP support would translate to a general election when Kennedy would also be running against Trump. Allies of both Biden and Trump have at times questioned whether Kennedy would be a spoiler against their candidate.

“The truth is, they’re both right,” Kennedy said in his speech. “My intention is to spoil it for both of them.”

Biden’s allies so far have dismissed Kennedy’s Primary campaign as unserious. Asked for comment ahead of the announcement, a Democratic National Committee spokesman responded with an eye roll emoji.

The Republican National Committee published a fact sheet before Kennedy’s speech titled “Radical DEMOCRAT RFK Jr.” that lists times he supported liberal politicians or ideas. The document also listed times he supported conspiracy theories about COVID-19 or “stolen-election claims” related to the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections that Democrats lost to President George W. Bush. Trump continues to promote the disproved theory that his loss to Biden was the result of a stolen election.

Hundreds of supporters gathered for Kennedy’s remarks, at times chanting, “RFK, all the way!” Campaign signs teased a potential new slogan: “Declare your independence.”

Among Kennedy’s fans in the crowd were several voters who said they don’t identify as Democratic or Republican and view Kennedy as a truth teller and a breath of fresh air.

“He tells it how it is,” said Julia Hill, a 23-year-old student from New Jersey. “He doesn’t sound like a politician.”

Other supporters, such as Brent Snyder, a disabled veteran from south Philadelphia, said they had voted for Trump in the past but were looking for a change.

“The last couple years I’ve been noticing the Republican Party’s been going a way I didn’t like,” Snyder said. “Not that I agree with everything that’s happening to Trump, but I think right now he has more baggage than his country needs. The division right now is just terrible. We need someone to bring both sides together to make us work.”

Four of Kennedy’s eight surviving siblings put out a joint statement denouncing his candidacy and saying they were saddened by his announcement.

“The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country,” it read. “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment.”

Monday’s announcement comes less than a week after the progressive activist Cornel West abandoned his Green Party bid in favor of an independent White House run. Meanwhile, the centrist group No Labels is actively securing ballot access for a yet-to-be-named candidate.

Kennedy has spent weeks accusing the DNC of “rigging” the party’s Primary against him and threatening that he might need to consider alternatives.

In campaign emails and videos, he blasted the DNC’s decision not to host debates between Biden and other candidates and railed against the committee’s plan to give South Carolina rather than Iowa or New Hampshire the leadoff spot on the Primary calendar this election cycle.

“If they jam me, I’m going to look at every option,” he said in September at a New Hampshire barbecue held by Republican former Sen. Scott Brown.

Far-right and anti-vaccine influencers close to Kennedy also sent strong signals on social media suggesting he should or would leave the Democratic Party. Last month, Joseph Mercola, an influential anti-vaccine doctor who is allied with Kennedy, ran a poll on X, formerly known as Twitter, asking if Kennedy should quit the party.

While Kennedy has long identified as a Democrat and frequently invokes his late father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and his uncle President John F. Kennedy on the campaign trail, he has built close relationships with far-right figures in recent years. He appeared on a channel run by the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and headlined a stop on the ReAwaken America Tour, the Christian nationalist road show put together by Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Polls show far more Republicans than Democrats have a favorable opinion of Kennedy. He also has gained support from some far-right conservatives for his fringe views, including his vocal distrust of COVID-19 vaccines, which studies have shown are safe and effective against severe disease and death.

Kennedy’s anti-vaccine organization, Children’s Health Defense, currently has a lawsuit pending against a number of news organizations, among them The Associated Press, accusing them of violating antitrust laws by taking action to identify misinformation, including about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. Kennedy took leave from the group when he announced his run for President but is listed as one of its attorneys in the lawsuit.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Earl Pitts "Political Scientist" American

    October 9, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    Relax your Sphincters Good Citizens of America,
    I, Earl Pitts American, in my capicity as the most trustworthy and aware political prognostigator on The Planet anticipated that gravelly voiced, old, past his political time and prime Kennedy dude to “Come Out” as an Independant and already ran the numbers for you.
    Basically, America, this switch to Independant by Kennedy will have a net ZERO effect on Desantis taking The White House in 2024. So of course you can all relax your spinchters now that you too know the truth.
    Fun Fact:
    Desantis’s last political rival for The Office of Govornor, who shall remain anomyous, but his initials may be CC, did state that he might flip for Kennedy and then stated that he might flop back for 8iden.
    In Summary:
    My research assigned a 1/2 CC flip vote to Kennedy. However, to be fair, we had to also mathamatically assigne a 1/2 CC flop vote to 8iden.
    For those of you sleeping in Mrs. Grundy’s 9th grade introduction to math class and missed the day we studied the Flip Flop Therom, the two 1/2’s cancel each other and equal a net change of ZERO.
    Earl Pitts “Political Scientist” American

    • Rick Whitaker

      October 9, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      there goes another comment from the sphincter man. does anybody listen to this homosexual hating nutcase. ” political scientist ” , what a joke. earls real name is billy purser aka gary burbank aka earl pitts. look him up on wikipedia under the name gary burbank. it will reveal that he is an 82 year old nut. for some reason he is obsessed with desantis. i think he has a record like denny hastert. denny is still in prison. somehow, billy purser aka earl pitts is out. i heard he wears an anckle bracelet.

      • Earl Pitts "Political Scientist" American

        October 9, 2023 at 5:17 pm

        Thats some other person who’s real name is Earlio Pittszallaz.
        I think Earlio may have snuck across the border that time all those Middle Eastern Fighting Age Men came in with their Osama beards, Sombarros, and wearing those weird “Man Dresses” all those radicalized Muzzys love to wear.
        Yeah pretty sure thats Rick’s guy, Earlio Pittszallaz.
        Glad we finally got that little mystery cleared up and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to be not me.
        Earl Pitts “Not Earlio Pittszallaz” American

      • Michael K

        October 9, 2023 at 10:42 pm

        Best to ignore the troll.

        • Rick Whitaker

          October 10, 2023 at 6:00 pm

          your right . he’s so annoying.

  • Nebraska Granny

    October 9, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    I like Bobby Jr.! I am a Republican, former Democrat, but I like him. I may not always agree with him though. Don’t count out DeSantis. Don’t automatically assume that Trump will be the Republican nominee. I agree with the man who said that right or wrong on the charges against him, he has too much baggage. And, in my opinion, with all his nasty name-calling of his fellow nominees and the fact that if he is the nominee the election will be all about him and not about the serious issues the country faces, he needs to respectfully bow out. What about a DeSantis/Kennedy ticket? Just a thought.

  • Rick Whitaker

    October 9, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    kennedy seems to be as nutty as trump so i can see nuts jumping ship and voting for him. all at the expense of the head nut, trump. i now feel a little better about biden’s victory margin. thanks kennedy, at least your good for something.

    • My Take

      October 9, 2023 at 4:11 pm

      Yeah, Kennedy might draw the kooks who are not particularly the traitor kooks.

      • Earl Pitts "Political Scientist" American

        October 9, 2023 at 5:06 pm

        Good comment there My Take, it shows you have great political wisdom, and are a great all around person to hang out with.
        Keep on being you,

        • Rick Whitaker

          October 10, 2023 at 5:34 am

          earl, the head kook

  • My Take

    October 9, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    A Nader oŕ a Perot?

    • Rick Whitaker

      October 10, 2023 at 5:40 am

      i will never forgive nader. he helped damage our country badly. al gore could have been a great president , damm you nader. the bastard is still living.

      • Earl Pitts "Political Scientist" American

        October 10, 2023 at 1:27 pm

        Worst of all, my wackey contrairan, RICK Whitaker, Nader killed the Corvair a fine little Chevy sports car.
        Curses on you Ralph Nader who, BTW, is still annoying our Great Nation by serving recently in congress as Jerry Nadler.
        Yeppers America they are the same dudes.
        You heard it here first.

        • Rick Whitaker

          October 10, 2023 at 6:29 pm

          caution, troll comment

    • Rick Whitaker

      October 10, 2023 at 6:40 pm

      palestine is not hamas. palestine has friends, hamas does not. i have a friend that is palestinian and he’s a kind, loving person. kennedy is a nut, so what if he is irish. i’m voting for biden, i think he has irish heritage, but he is not a nut like kennedy i’m an native indian, but i didn’t kill the christian invaders who murdered most of the natives when they invaded america.

Comments are closed.


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