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HomeUncategorizedKennedy household brushes off RFK Jr.’s marketing campaign as they endorse Biden

Kennedy household brushes off RFK Jr.’s marketing campaign as they endorse Biden


President Joe Biden obtained the formal endorsement of greater than a dozen members of the prolonged Kennedy household on Thursday, aiming to harness the legacy of a storied Democratic household whereas implicitly underscoring their near-universal rejection of a third-party problem mounted by one in every of their very own, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The broader Kennedy household has principally shunned RFK Jr.’s marketing campaign, calling it “harmful,” even because the candidate himself appears to capitalize on his final title and household historical past.

However Thursday’s occasion in Philadelphia – the identical metropolis the place RFK Jr. introduced his unbiased bid for the presidency in October – nonetheless highlights the risk Kennedy poses to Biden as he seeks to win reelection in a race the place even a low-performing third-party candidate may act as a spoiler.

In a speech introducing Biden, Kerry Kennedy — one in every of RFK Jr.’s sisters who has helped lead her household’s organizing efforts — declared the president “a champion for all of the rights and freedoms that my father and uncles stood for” whereas additionally warning of threats posed by Donald Trump to democracy and freedom.

“Donald Trump is operating to take us backwards, attacking probably the most primary rights and freedoms which can be core to who we’re as People,” she stated. “He has stated he might be a dictator on day one, even saying he needs to attempt to droop the Structure.”

“I can solely think about how Donald Trump’s outrageous lies and conduct would have horrified my father, Robert F. Kennedy, who proudly served as Lawyer Common of the US, and honored his pledge to uphold the legislation and shield the nation,” Kennedy added.

Biden’s reelection marketing campaign, she stated, ought to “unite not solely Democrats, however all People, together with Republicans, and independents.”

Whereas most of her remarks targeted on Trump, she took the chance to take a shot at her brother’s marketing campaign.

“In 2024,” she stated, “there are solely two candidates with any likelihood of profitable the presidency.”

Talking after Kerry Kennedy, Biden appeared visibly touched by her remarks, wanting up towards the sky as he stated: “Mother and Dad, I hope you had been listening.”

“Kerry,” the president stated, “that was probably the most significant introduction I’ve ever gotten in my life.”

Biden stated Robert F. Kennedy Sr.’s legacy served because the lodestar for his personal political profession. Although Biden took a job at a prestigious Delaware legislation agency shortly after graduating from legislation college, he finally determined to turn into a public defender.

“I’ve completed so largely as a result of I believed that’s one thing your dad would have completed,” he advised the Kennedys.

Forward of Biden’s speech, Robert Kennedy stated in a social media publish on Thursday that he hopes his household’s political disagreements could be a mannequin for People to “restore civility and respect to public discourse,” including that he believes his household is “united in our love for one another.”

“I hear a few of my household might be endorsing President Biden right this moment. I’m happy they’re politically lively – it’s a household custom. We’re divided in our opinions however united in our love for one another. I maintain this as a risk for America too. Can we disagree with out hating our opponents? Can we restore civility and respect to public discourse? I believe we will,” Kennedy wrote.

He additionally famous that some relations work for his marketing campaign. His marketing campaign supervisor is Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, his daughter-in-law.

After the speech, the Kennedys will be part of Biden at a grassroots organizing occasion with marketing campaign volunteers and native supporters, the place he’ll be launched by Joe Kennedy III. Relations plan to make marketing campaign cellphone calls and knock on doorways afterward.

It’s not the primary time Biden has sought to emphasise his ties to the Kennedys. He has cited Robert F. Kennedy Sr. as a private inspiration in his political profession. A bust of the previous legal professional normal and senator sits within the Oval Workplace.

He has appointed three relations to diplomatic posts in his administration: Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Australia; Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, as ambassador to Austria; and Joe Kennedy III as particular envoy to Northern Eire.

On St. Patrick’s Day this 12 months, the prolonged clan was invited for a reception on the White Home and posed for images with Biden within the Rose Backyard. And Biden invited Maria Shriver, a niece of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, to attend his State of the Union tackle to spotlight her work on girls’s well being.

In public statements, some members of the Kennedy household have already made clear they’re backing Biden in November. Many have sought to distance themselves from RFK Jr.’s presidential bid.

In a CNN interview final month, one other sister of RFK Jr., Rory Kennedy, stated she’s involved he may undermine Biden’s probabilities of defeating Trump.

“I really feel strongly that that is crucial election of our lifetime and there’s a lot at stake. And I do assume it’s gonna come right down to a handful of votes in a handful of states, and I do fear that Bobby simply taking some share of votes from Biden may shift the election and result in Trump’s election,” she stated.

RFK Jr. has sought to downplay an obvious household rift.

“I’ve a giant household, about 105 cousins on the final time we counted,” he advised CNN’s Erin Burnett earlier this month. “I’ve a giant household. I don’t know anyone in America who’s obtained a household who agrees with him on every part.”

The Kennedy relations who attended Biden’s occasion Thursday included Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joe Kennedy II, Beth Kennedy, Joe Kennedy III, Christopher Kennedy, Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, Vicki Strauss Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, Max Meltzer, Ted Kennedy Jr., Stephen Kennedy Smith, Peter McKelvy and Rebeca McKelvy.

This story has been up to date with further info.

CNN’s Michael Williams, Aaron Pellish and Eva McKend contributed to this report.

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