Robert Kennedy Jr.’s presidential ambitions resulted in public household drama after a political motion committee aired a Tremendous Bowl advert invoking the Democratic household’s legacy to implicitly evaluate the impartial candidate to his assassinated uncle, President John F. Kennedy.
The 30-second spot, financed by the American Values 2024 Tremendous PAC that’s backing Kennedy, featured a shortened model of a marketing campaign tune that the thirty fifth president utilized in his 1960 marketing campaign. The spot additionally mimicked cartoon and newsreel results — utilizing black-and-white photos of Robert Kennedy Jr. just like JFK. However in a notable departure from the Kennedy’s bygone Democratic Occasion dynasty, the advert urged People to “Vote Impartial.”
After the sport, Kennedy responded to on-line criticism, together with from certainly one of his cousins, emphasizing that his marketing campaign didn’t produce the spot, which price an estimated $7 million.
“I’m so sorry if the Tremendous Bowl commercial prompted anybody in my household ache,” Kennedy wrote late Sunday evening on X, previously Twitter. “The advert was created and aired by the American Values Tremendous PAC with none involvement or approval from my marketing campaign. … I like you all. God bless you.”
Nonetheless, as of Monday morning, Kennedy had the advert pinned to the highest of his X profile. “Our momentum is rising,” he wrote. “It’s time for an Impartial President to heal the divide in our nation.”
Bobby Shriver, whose mom, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, based the Particular Olympics, hammered his cousin over the spot and his opposition to vaccines for COVID-19 and different ailments.
“My cousin’s Tremendous Bowl advert used our uncle’s faces — and my mom’s,” Shriver wrote. “She can be appalled by his lethal well being care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & well being care fairness had been in her DNA.”
Shriver, whose father, Sargent Shriver, based the Peace Corps, additionally alluded to his personal work in increasing well being care entry within the growing world.
Robert Kennedy Jr. responded individually to his cousin: “Bobby. I’m so sorry if that commercial prompted you ache. … I ship you and your loved ones my sincerest apologies. God bless you.”
Kennedy is working for president as an impartial regardless of his household’s standing as Democratic Occasion the Aristocracy. It’s not but clear whether or not he can acquire poll entry in sufficient states to mount a real nationwide marketing campaign. However his effort is available in a yr when many citizens will not be enthusiastic in regards to the chance of a rematch between President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, a Republican. Any impartial or third-party efforts in battleground states may form the end result in unpredictable methods.
“It’s becoming that the primary nationwide advert selling Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy was purchased and paid for by Donald Trump’s largest donor this cycle,” mentioned Democratic Nationwide Committee spokesman Alex Floyd. He was referring to Tim Mellon, a serious donor to Trump who additionally gave American Values $15 million final yr, in line with federal filings.
The DNC already had filed a federal grievance alleging that Kennedy’s marketing campaign is illegally coordinating with American Values to siphon help from Biden, an accusation the PAC denies.
A Biden marketing campaign spokesperson sidestepped the flap, as a substitute highlighting the president’s Tremendous Bowl Sunday debut on the social media platform TikTok.
An electronic mail e-newsletter from American Values framed the advert as an unqualified success, noting a spike in on-line searches for Kennedy and a press release from his marketing campaign spokeswoman saying the marketing campaign was “pleasantly shocked and grateful” for the advert, a distinct tone than Kennedy’s statements to his household.
At one time, Kennedy was a number one environmental activist, and he was among the many youthful Kennedy members of the family who would communicate at Democratic Occasion conventions and occasions. He has in recent times delved into conspiracy theories and turn into a face of the anti-vaccine motion.
Moreover his presidential uncle, who was assassinated in 1963, Kennedy’s political lineage contains his father, who was U.S. lawyer common, a senator from New York and main presidential candidate on the time of his 1968 assassination. His father’s longest-lived brother was Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Sargent Shriver, Bobby Shriver’s father, ran for president in 1976 as a Democrat.
An anti-vaccine group Kennedy led has a lawsuit pending towards plenty of information organizations, amongst them The Related Press, accusing them of violating antitrust legal guidelines by taking motion to determine misinformation, together with about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. Kennedy took go away from the group when he introduced his run for president however is listed as certainly one of its attorneys within the lawsuit.