‘My intention is to spoil it for both of them’: RFK, Jr. Announces Independent 2024 Run

Environmental lawyer and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. formally announced his candidacy for the presidency as an independent, pivoting away from his initial bid within the Democratic primary. Kennedy revealed his decision during a speech in Philadelphia after weeks of speculation about his political trajectory.

Previously engaging with the Libertarian Party, Kennedy’s independent campaign is now set to take on key states, including Texas, Florida, and Georgia. 

Independents historically face challenges in gaining substantial support, but Kennedy expressed optimism, envisioning a transformative shift in American politics. 

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found Kennedy garnering 14% support in a hypothetical three-way race against President Joe Biden (31%) and former President Donald Trump (33%). The campaign hopes to draw from both sides of the political spectrum, challenging assertions that Kennedy’s impact would only siphon votes from other Democratic candidates.

Source: Reuters/Ipsos Survey

“They say my impact is only going to draw votes from the other candidates. The Democrats are frightened that I’m gonna spoil the election for President Biden, and the Republicans are frightened that I’m gonna spoil it for President Trump,” Kennedy said. “The truth is, they’re both right. My intention is to spoil it for both of them.”

Critics, notably from the Trump campaign, attacked Kennedy’s candidacy as a liberal endeavor and emphasized his environmental activism background. The Republican National Committee dismissed him as a “radical, far-left Democrat.”

Kennedy, a scion of the prominent Kennedy family, acknowledged the painful decision to leave the Democratic Party. He said that he wanted to challenge the two-party system, and criticized both Biden and Trump.

“That’s what two-party politics has given us, and that’s why we need to pry loose from the hammerlock of the corrupt powers in Washington, DC, and make this nation ours again.”

Despite never holding public office, Kennedy has drawn a small group of supporters due to his advocacy against public health mandates and corporate influence in government decisions. He is known for founding Children’s Health Defense, an organization that spreads anti-vaccine misinformation, and promoting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories at campaign events.

Kennedy’s siblings — Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy II, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend — in a joint statement disapproved of his candidacy, calling it dangerous.

“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment. Today’s announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country, ” they wrote.

Information for this story was found via CNN, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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