Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who had been vying for the Democratic nomination for president, announced in Philadelphia on Monday he will now run as an independent.
The newly-independent candidate first launched his presidential bid in April, and has been critical of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) rules for aiding President Joe Biden and not hosting primary debates. Kennedy said in a speech that America must declare independence from corporations, “Big Pharma,” “Big Tech,” the “mercenary media,” “cynical elites” and the Democrat and Republican parties.
“The good news is that people like yourselves are finally fed up. Something is stirring in us that says it doesn’t have to be this way. People stop me everywhere — in airports, at hotels, in malls, on the street — and they remind me that this country is ready for history-making change. They are ready to reclaim their freedom, their independence,” said Kennedy. “And that’s why I’m here today. I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate. An independent candidate for president of the United States. That’s not all. I’m here to join you in making a new declaration of independence for our entire nation.”
Prior to his announcement, Kennedy’s campaign planned to release “attack ads” against the DNC to “pave the way” for the 2024 hopeful’s party affiliation switch. (RELATED: There’s A Simple Way RFK Jr. Can Screw Over Biden And Get Revenge On The DNC)
The 2024 hopeful has focused his campaign on ending “the corrupt merger of state and corporate power,” and has garnered the support of several prominent public figures, including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and actors Woody Harrelson and Pierce Brosnan.
Kennedy has repeatedly split from the modern Democratic Party on his views of the Ukraine war, censorship, the COVID-19 vaccine and other issues, and criticized Biden for supporting continued aid to Ukraine in an interview with Daily Caller News Foundation co-founder Tucker Carlson.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Democratic primary, based on polls conducted between Sept. 9 and Sept. 29, indicates Biden is leading the field by 50 points, followed by Kennedy at 14.9% and self-help author Marianne Williamson at 4.8%.
The 2024 general election could see multiple third-party candidates, including Kennedy, Green Party candidate Cornel West, a Libertarian Party candidate and potentially a candidate for No Labels, a centrist organization that has been flirting with a ticket. While some Democrats are concerned that third-party candidates could siphon off more votes from Biden than Trump, Kennedy has argued otherwise in his case.
A Reuters/Ipsos survey released Thursday indicated that Kennedy would pull support from both Biden and former President Donald Trump as an independent, garnering 14% of the vote. Trump and Biden both received 35% of the vote in a head-to-head race, but dropped to 33% and 31%, respectively, in a three-way matchup with Kennedy where 9% said they wouldn’t vote and 13% were unsure.
“I take more votes from President Trump than I do from President Biden,” Kennedy previously said on Sept. 25.
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