Vaccine skeptic and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to abandon his Democratic bid for president and announce he's running as an independent or third-party candidate instead.
Kennedy's campaign has hinted at the announcement on social media in the days leading up to a Monday speech from Philadelphia.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) October 7, 2023
The 69-year-old son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy has been running a long-shot Democratic bid for the White House, but is trailing far behind President Joe Biden and has shown better favorability among conservatives, giving him little chance of securing the Democratic nomination. However, one national survey has Kennedy polling at 14%, making him a potential difference maker in a 2024 race that's likely coming down to a rematch between President Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump.
At this point, analysts are divided on who Kennedy could take more votes from, with allies from both parties questioning whether he could spoil their candidate's campaign. But the Biden campaign has repeatedly dismissed Kennedy's primary challenge as frivolous and refused to debate him.
Kennedy has pointed to corruption within both major political parties as a major driving factor behind his presidential bid. In a Republican-led congressional hearing this summer, Kennedy argued that he has been wrongly silenced by big tech for questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
“The First Amendment was not written for easy speech,” Kennedy said. “It was written for the speech that nobody likes you for.”
Platforms like Facebook and YouTube have removed several Kennedy interviews and podcasts, leaving many questioning whether big tech favors certain political views over others. Kennedy has also filed a lawsuit against a number of news organizations, accusing them of violating antitrust laws for labeling certain content about COVID-19 and vaccines as misinformation.
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