Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., often known as RFK, announced that he would be launching an independent bid for the White House this week. Kennedy, the son of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, is likely to have a significant impact on the dynamics of next year’s race.
Kennedy had sought the Democratic nomination against President Joe Biden but decided on an independent bid after he believed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) did not treat him fairly.
The presidential candidate wrote on social media that “because I am independent of the military contractors, I will be able to pursue a foreign policy of peace and diplomacy.”
He also wrote that his independence from “wealthy donors” meant that he would be able to “close the loopholes and giveaways that bloat our budget.”
Kennedy added that because he was “independent of the corporations, I’ll be able to unravel the capture of our federal agencies.”
RFK added that because he was outside of the two political parties, “I will be able to enact bold policies that are outside the partisan conversation.”
Yesterday I announced my exit from the Democratic Party to run as an independent candidate for President. Here is what that means:
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) October 10, 2023
During a speech earlier in the week, Kennedy said that he is stopped all the time by people telling him that “this country is ready for a history-making change.”
So far, a SuperPAC supporting Kennedy has raised about $17 million.
It is unclear how Kennedy’s entry will affect the 2024 race. Should the other nominees be a repeat of the 2020 election, it is possible that the independent will draw from both sources of support.
A number of supporters of former President Donald Trump have praised the candidate in the past. However, following the announcement of the independent bid, a number of Republicans criticized the new candidate.
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said that voters “should not be deceived by anyone who pretends to have conservative values.”
He further called RFK’s candidacy “nothing more than a vanity project for a liberal Kennedy looking to cash in on his family’s name.”