Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine campaigner, has submitted paperwork to the Federal Election Commission in order to run for president as a Democrat in 2024. John E. Sullivan, treasurer of his campaign, confirmed the filing on Wednesday.
The 69-year-old is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and the son of Robert F. Kennedy, a senator from New York, US attorney general, and a presidential candidate who was killed in 1968. The younger Kennedy has always been skeptical of vaccines.
He created Children’s Health Defense, an anti-vaccine group, and spread false information that vaccines cause autism. Both the coronavirus vaccination and the federal government’s response to the epidemic have been targets of his criticism.
His sister Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, brother Joseph P. Kennedy II, and niece Maeve Kennedy McKean all strongly condemned his anti-vaccine views in an op-ed for Politico Magazine in 2019. They wrote that he was “part of a misinformation campaign that’s having heartbreaking – and deadly – consequences.”
At an anti-vaccination address at the Lincoln Monument in 2022, John F. Kennedy Jr. evoked Nazi Germany. His Instagram account was suspended a year ago “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.”
Last month, Kennedy hinted on Twitter that he was thinking about running for president. “If it looks like I can raise the money and mobilize enough people to win, I’ll jump in the race,” he said. His tweet also included a link to his website, where visitors are encouraged to “Let Bobby know you want to see his leadership in the White House,” by making a financial contribution.
Help me decide whether to run for President. Visit https://t.co/EX83yh9O4O to volunteer or contribute. If it looks like I can raise the money and mobilize enough people to win, I’ll jump in the race. If I run, my top priority will be to end the corrupt https://t.co/ujEHehub9T…
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) March 10, 2023
Kennedy, an environmental attorney, participated in the effort to clean up the Hudson River. The Natural Resources Defense Council and an environmental legal company he co-founded both employed him. Kennedy, should he decide to run for president, would be the latest in a long line of relatives to enter public service.
From 1995 until 2003, his sister Kathleen was Maryland’s vice governor. From 1987 until 1999, his sibling Joseph served as a congressman for Massachusetts. Chris Kennedy, his sibling, ran for governor of Illinois in 2018 but ultimately fell short.
Former Massachusetts Representative Joe Kennedy III, the last Kennedy to hold office, lost a 2020 Democratic Senate primary. (He has since been the United States special envoy to Northern Ireland.) The current US ambassador to Australia is Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.
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With President Joseph Biden widely anticipated to run again in 2024, the Democratic primary is just getting started. This month, author Marianne Williamson made an unlikely second run for the Democratic candidacy. When former President Donald Trump declared his third run for the White House last year, he sparked a frenzy for the Republican candidacy.
Others, including as former VP Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, are also considering runs. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are also running.
The California Examiner is a must-read for everyone who wants to stay abreast of global events.