Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dropped his bid for the Democrat nomination for president and officially became an independent candidate.
“I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate,” he said in front of a cheering crowd.
“Independent candidate for President of the United States, but that’s not all. I’m here to join you in making a new Declaration of Independence for our entire nation. We declare independence from the corporations that have hijacked our government,” he added.
— The Triune Times (@TriuneTimes) October 9, 2023
RFK Jr. announced his independent presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
RFK Jr. Draws Big Crowd In Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/48D2f2czkD
— The Triune Times (@TriuneTimes) October 9, 2023
“This country is ready for a history-making change. They are ready to reclaim their freedom. Their independence,” he added.
NOW – RFK Jr. is running for president as an independent. pic.twitter.com/awjnxwidaF
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 9, 2023
BREAKING: RFK Jr. leaves Democrat primary race, will run for president as an Independent pic.twitter.com/miyn4HSxbP
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) October 9, 2023
Several of RFK Jr.’s family members denounced his independent campaign and called it “perilous for 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,” Kerry Kennedy wrote.
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. @roryekennedy @joekennedy @KKT_Kennedy pic.twitter.com/WJfGwSxN1z
— Kerry Kennedy (@KerryKennedyRFK) October 9, 2023
BREAKING NEWS: RFK Jr. said Monday he will run for president as an independent and drop his Democratic primary bid, adding a wrinkle to a 2024 race heading toward a likely rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. MORE: https://t.co/eoso3yMw6n pic.twitter.com/B8sppFiCvw
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) October 9, 2023
“We declare independence from the two political parties,” he added. “And the corrupt interests that dominate them and the entire rigged system.”
BREAKING: @RobertKennedyJr Has Announced His Independent Run for President of the United States
"I'm here to join you in making a new Declaration of Independence for our entire nation" pic.twitter.com/aj9n5RlcgX
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) October 9, 2023
The Associated Press reports:
Longtime environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Monday he’ll run for president as an independent and drop his Democratic primary bid, adding a wrinkle to a 2024 race heading toward a likely rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Speaking Monday from Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, where America’s founding documents were adopted, Kennedy said there is a “rising tide of discontent” in the country and said he wants to make a “new Declaration of Independence” — from corporations, the media and the two major political parties.
“I’ve come here today to declare our independence from the tyranny of corruption which robs us of affordable lives, our belief in the future, and our respect for each other,” Kennedy said. “But to do that I must first declare my own independence. Independence from the Democratic Party and from all other political parties.”
Kennedy, a member of one of the most famous Democratic families in politics, was running a long-shot primary bid and has better favorability ratings among Republicans than Democrats. It’s unclear whether GOP support would translate to a general election when Kennedy would also be running against Trump. Allies of both Biden and Trump have at times questioned whether Kennedy would be a spoiler against their candidate.
According to POLITICO, RFK Jr.’s independent candidacy hurts Donald Trump more than Joe Biden.
Despite Biden’s weaknesses, Kennedy’s independent candidacy could end up being the spoiler to help the president secure a second term.Advertisement
Polls consistently show Kennedy is more popular with Republicans than Democrats, a phenomenon that emerged during Kennedy’s ill-fated primary against Biden, as the campaign put the activist’s longtime skepticism about vaccines in the spotlight, and Kennedy made a host of appearances on Fox News.
Those positions are a poor match with Democratic voters, which essentially doomed any chance Kennedy had to win the nomination. A POLITICO | Morning Consult poll last month found widespread Democratic support for vaccinations of all kinds, with opposition coming significantly more from Republicans and independents. And a general election spotlight is almost certain to bring more attention to the issue.
And while the Echelon Insights poll suggested Kennedy could take more from Biden, a Reuters/Ipsos survey released last week was basically a mirror image, with Kennedy drawing 9 percent of self-identified Democrats, 13 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of independents.
That’s not a significant difference, but Kennedy might have more room to grow among Republicans: 59 percent of Republicans said they have a favorable opinion of Kennedy in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, compared to 40 percent of Democrats.
So while Democrats may not be enthusiastic about Biden, Kennedy might struggle to pull them away — especially the large numbers of those who say they are worried about Trump returning to the White House. Kennedy’s super PAC has its own polling showing the son of the former senator and attorney general drawing slightly more votes from Trump than Biden, though the differences were well within the margin of error.
RFK Jr. appeared on “This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von” and said he would take more votes from Donald Trump than Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
“I take more votes from President Trump than I do from President Biden,” RFK Jr. said.
He admits it! pic.twitter.com/sdXV29nVhC
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 30, 2023