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By declaring his intention to run for president on his own, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ended Biden’s Democratic primary candidacy (2023)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his “independence from the Democratic Party”

Image Credit:Jessica Kourkounis / Getty

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his “independence from the Democratic Party” on Monday in Philadelphia, calling off his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and launching an independent campaign that he claimed aimed to bridge the political divide, which he portrayed as a fiction of a corrupt establishment.

He compared Republicans and Democrats to kids battling over the wheel of an out-of-control car, both following a GPS path programmed by lobbyists, and declared, “I intend to wrest the reins of power from both parties and give it to it the American people.”

Kennedy then used a metaphor from the Middle Ages to say, “This hatred we have for each other is orchestrated.” “My job is to bring Americans together. After that, everyone will accompany me over the castle walls.

Even though Democratic primary voters expressed a desire for a younger candidate to succeed President Joe Biden as party leader, Kennedy has had difficulty gaining traction. He is not a member of the Democratic establishment because of his views on abortion and vaccinations.


On an inviting fall day, approximately 1,000 people went to hear Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speak in front of Independence Hall, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Others put on homemade Kennedy T-shirts, hats, buttons, and at least one specially created cloak, while several wore suits and ties. One banner said, “I want Camelot,” a reference to the Kennedy family that has been mythologized.

He claimed that while there have been anti-establishment politicians in the past, none of them had practical job-related knowledge. “The independent is going to win the next time.”


Kennedy said that the moment was right, citing the rising number of people who tell pollsters they’re fed up with both parties. According to a recent Gallup poll, a record 63% of Americans feel Republicans and Democrats represent the country in “such a poor way” that “a third major party is needed.”

Kennedy still confronts a lot of challenges. Ross Perot, the most successful independent presidential candidate of the last century, received merely 19% of the popular vote in 1992, which equated to zero Electoral College votes as each state’s winner is the one who receives the votes that determine who wins the White House.

In this circumstance, Democrats are concerned that a third candidate will derail Biden’s effort, even though surveys show Republicans favor Robert F. Kennedy Jr. more than Democrats do.

Kennedy stated that “three-quarters of Americans believe Biden is too divided to govern effectively” before pointing out that former President Donald Trump, the likely GOP nominee, is under investigation for numerous crimes.

My objective is to ruin it for them both, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said.

Kennedy, a member of the first family of Democratic politicians, claimed that leaving the party of his uncles—one of whom served as president and the other as a senator—his father—a former attorney general and senator—his grandfather—an ambassador—and his great-grandfathers—one of whom served as mayor and congressman and another as a member of the city council—and breaking with their “political dynasty” had been “very painful.”

Although “Bobby’s” campaign has largely received criticism from the rest of the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. family, the majority of whom are still ardent Democrats, he took the effort to list the names of some Kennedys and Shrivers who attended.

Robert F Kennedy

Image Credit:Matt Rourke/AP

Four of the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. family’s most visible and politically engaged members criticized his plan to challenge Biden in a statement.

“Bobby may have the same name as our father, but he doesn’t share the same morals, beliefs, or sense of justice. We are quite saddened by the news that we learned today. Rory, Kerry, former Rep. Joe Kennedy, and Kathleen Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Townsend denounced his candidacy and deemed it dangerous for the nation.

Kennedy, however, claimed that the split was required because Democrats had lost their way and that there was no other way to defeat the totalizing tribalism of modern politics and the paralysis it had caused.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. picked a different symbolism for Monday’s announcement, which was made in front of a giant banner that read, “KENNEDY 24 — DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in April in Boston, a city connected to his well-known family.

He asserted that he was part of a “populist movement that defies left-right division” that was claiming independence from Wall Street, corporations, polluters, and divisive politics. Occasionally, he sounded like Trump when he declared that he would reject “the mercenary media that is here to fortify all of the corporate orthodoxies from their advertisers.”


People won’t be able to tell whether my government leans left or right easily. Is it right or wrong to save our nation from a potential war with Russia? Is having a completely safe election system where we can be sure that every vote will count right or wrong? Kennedy uttered. “As long as we’re caught up in these routine disputes, the two sides are frequently deaf to practical solutions.”

And Kennedy, who has fought for decades with the media and other fact-based institutions over his conspiracy theories about vaccines and technology, launched a salvo at the press for, in his view, underestimating his chances and fomenting political dissent.


Trump campaign spokesperson Steve Cheung cited Kennedy’s opinions on China, the environment, and other topics and stated, “Voters should not be fooled by anyone who professes to have conservative beliefs. The truth is that RFK has a troubling past full of radical, leftist views.

Kennedy’s declaration that he would remain independent of “any party” also put to rest rumors that he would join the Green Party or the Libertarian Party, both of which Democrats accuse of tampering with the 2000 and 2016 elections. Kennedy met with the chairwoman of both parties this summer.

This suggests that there might be a crowded general election ballot in 2019. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the philosopher Cornel West are running as well-known independents, and there may also be a centrist No Labels candidate in addition to the two major-party candidates and two from the recognized third parties.

Even yet, without a party’s support, getting on the ballot in each of the 50 states is a difficult task. Additionally, with more than a year left before the election, numerous contenders may withdraw from the race.

1 thought on “By declaring his intention to run for president on his own, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ended Biden’s Democratic primary candidacy (2023)”

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