Politician Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced on Monday that he would be leaving the Democratic party and running as a third party Independent in the 2024 presidential race. The decision, which was shared at a rally held outside the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and featured remarks from his wife, actress Cheryl Hines well known for Curb Your Enthusiasm, had swift ramifications among members of his own family. In fact, many Kennedy family members were quick to denounce the move.
What did Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s family say about his independent presidential bid?
In a statement posted to Oscar nominated documentarian Rory Kennedy’s Instagram, she said: “The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country. 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.”
The RFK Jr.’s sister is widely recognized in Hollywood circles for her work on films such as Ethel (2012) which is about her mother Ethel Kennedy, Last Days in Vietnam (2014), and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007). The message was signed by four of Ethel and Robert Kennedy’s 11 children: Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Judge Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
“The Democrats are frightened that I’m going to spoil the election for President Biden, and the Republicans are frightened that I’m going to spoil it for Trump. The truth is, they’re both right. My intention is to spoil it for both of them.”RFK Jr. at a rally
Why is Robert F. Kennedy Jr a controversial candidate and what criticism is he facing for this decision?
RFK Jr. has emerged as a divisive contender due to his frequent dissemination of anti-vaccine ideas, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. According to FiveThirtyEight polling, RFK Jr. garnered roughly 15.3 percent of the vote in Democratic primary surveys as of today, compared to President Joe Biden’s 60.1 percent.
The Kennedy family’s denouncement of their brother has been met with mixed reactions. It was met with support from many entertainment industry insiders like Rosie O’Donnell, Lynette Howell Taylor, Amy Harris and more. Aside from this overall positive reactions, many social media users have expressed their shock at the denouncement, declaring the Kennedy family’s support of Biden a disappointment.