RFK Jr.’s Independent Bid Draws Intrafamily Fire

The Kennedy family, long synonymous with American Democratic royalty, finds itself at the heart of a political storm as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. declared his intention on Monday to abandon the party and run for the presidency as an independent candidate. The announcement sent shockwaves through the political realm, not just for its audacity but for the fiery disapproval it drew from RFK Jr.’s closest family members.

On the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, four of Kennedy Jr.’s siblings — Rory, Kerry, Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend — unveiled a stinging rebuke of their brother’s independent pursuit. They stated, “The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third-party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country.” They argued, “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment.”

Yet, the open family feud didn’t stop with a simple online statement. Kennedy Jr.’s previous remarks have consistently stirred the pot. From questioning the merits of vaccines to insinuating racial biases tied to COVID-19, Kennedy Jr.’s comments have seldom gone without a family response. This isn’t the first time the clan has expressed their disapproval of his sentiments.

Moreover, RFK Jr.’s decision to pivot from a Democratic nomination to an independent bid has stoked flames across the broader political landscape. The Republican National Committee quickly labeled him “a Democrat in independent’s clothing.” In contrast, others noted his potential to pull significant votes from President Joe Biden.

A poll provides intriguing insights. In a hypothetical three-way race involving Biden, former President Trump, and Kennedy Jr., RFK Jr. would secure 14%, Biden 31%, and Trump 33%. In essence, Kennedy Jr.’s entry introduces a new dynamic that may prove impossible to predict.

Kennedy Jr. tackled the familial and party divide head-on during his appearance on the Tuesday morning broadcast of “Fox & Friends.” He expressed the deep-seated pain stemming from his family’s public denouncement, recalling the Democrats’ history in his lineage. RFK Jr. lamented, “Leaving the party of my family is very, very difficult for me. But it was a choice that I didn’t feel I had.”

But he didn’t just address the familial divide. His sentiments painted a broader picture, describing a nation polarized by two major parties beholden to corporate interests. Kennedy Jr. stated, “Everybody wants a clean environment and everybody wants to take care of our veterans, We need somebody who’s going to find those areas of agreement, the values we agree on.”