House Democrats’ Clash With RFK Jr. Exposes Growing Party Divide (And Creates More Headaches For Biden)

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Neil Banerji Contributor
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In a startling turn of events, Democrats have unleashed a series of blistering attacks against presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over his recent comments about COVID-19 and race.

According to the New York Post, Kennedy had claimed that COVID was “targeted” to be especially virile toward “Caucasians” and African-Americans and that “Azshenkazi Jews and the Chinese” were practically “immune.”

The Democrats quickly hit back. In a statement today, the campaign wing of the House Democrats blasted what they deemed to be RFK Jr’s unabashed parroting of conspiracy theories.

Rep. Suzane DelBene, the chair of the DCCC, denounced the candidate’s “reprehensible anti-semitic and anti-Asian comments aimed at perpetuating harmful and debunked racist tropes.”

“Such dangerous racism and hate have no place in America, demonstrate him to be unfit for public office, and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” she added.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison similarly stated that Kennedy’s comments were “deeply troubling” and “do not represent the views of the Democratic Party.”

House Minority leader Haken Jeffries pulled no punches either. “The disgusting use of a vile antisemitic trope and unhinged xenophobic conspiracy theory by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is unacceptable and unconscionable,” he said.

Even RFK Jr’s sister Kerry Kennedy stepped into the fray to “strongly condemn my brother’s deplorable and untruthful remarks last week about Covid being engineered for ethnic targeting.”

The White House has labelled his remarks as “vile,” while some Democrats went so far as to compare Kennedy to Hitler.

Several Democratic House members sent a letter to Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, arguing that “Mr. Kennedy is employing a pernicious form of antisemitism that has been used for centuries. This technique has been used by Hitler claiming that there are biological differences between ethnic or racial groups to portray Jews as a lesser form of humanity, a steppingstone to justify the annihilation of the Jews during the Holocaust.”

Responding to the allegations, Kennedy said, “I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered.”

This isn’t the first time that Kennedy’s views have fallen afoul of the mainstream Democratic Party. Various sections of his campaign website highlight his deep mistrust of the federal government and his willingness to stray from traditional Democratic talking points. (RELATED: Conservatives Are Getting Behind RFK Jr. But There Are Some Major Caveats)

RFK Jr. has also taken aim at the Biden Administration for entangling America in foreign conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war. A recent poll also showed RFK Jr. as beating both Joe Bidden and current Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump in terms of favorability, even as he continues to trail Biden in election polls by a wide margin.

This controversy is bound create more troubles for Biden’s own 2024 campaign. If Biden is perceived as  incapable of addressing division within his own party, then his political standing will only decline further.

As shown by his upcoming testimony before the Republican-led House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, RFK Jr. has also been growing closer to the GOP in recent months, even as McCarthy expressed some skepticism regarding Kennedy’s recent COVID comments.

The Democratic Party will likely seize upon the public scrutiny around RFK Jr. to essentially disown him, since they have long perceived him as a loose cannon. In doing so, they may provoke a backlash from his supporters and sympathizers within the party.

RFK’s distance from the Democratic Party and the ferocious criticism that he has received from them highlights the overall division between the party’s centrist voters and their more extreme progressive counterparts. As the 2024 general election progresses, whether or not this has an immediate effect on Biden’s reelection chances remains to be seen. But it certainly does not bode well for his public image as a unifying leader.