- RFK Jr. on Monday said he was continuing his White House campaign as an independent, not a Democrat.
- Four of RFK Jr.’s siblings immediately condemned their brother’s presidential candidacy.
- “We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country,” they said in a statement.
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of the Kennedy political family who had been running for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination since April, on Monday announced that he would now be seeking the White House as an independent.
Several other scions from that family took issue with that, and immediately condemned and denounced the bid.
Kennedy Jr. during a rally in Philadelphia said that he was declaring his “independence from the Democratic Party and all other parties” while remarking on the “pain” he felt from moving away from the party of his father and uncle, the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York and the late President John F. Kennedy, respectively.
Shortly after the announcement, Kennedy Jr. was met with immediate pushback from four of his 10 siblings, who in a joint statement on X blasted the impetus for his candidacy. The signatories included his brother, former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II of Massachusetts, and three of his sisters — former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Kerry Kennedy, and Rory Kennedy.
“The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country,” the statement read. “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,” it continued. “We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”
The move by Kennedy Jr. comes after polling showed that his standing among Democrats had sharply declined after a series of self-inflicted controversies, which included comments from July where he baselessly suggested that COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to certain races — while sparing Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.
In a video posted by The New York Post at the time, Kennedy Jr. stated that there was an “argument” that the coronavirus targeted particular groups, which created outrage from many in the general public, with Kerry Kennedy and nephew Joseph Kennedy III also condemning his remarks.