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Party switch controversy

RFK Jr. takes on both parties with independent bid for presidency in the 2024 election
Faith Lungu
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to the community inside the North Lake campus gym, during his presidential campaign.
Supporter of John F. Kennedy’s presidential run in 1960
shows up to support JFK’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Theressa Velazquez)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. kicked off his first “Independent Tour” campaign trail in Texas at Dallas College North Lake Campus on Oct 11.

U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s son Kennedy Jr., also known as RFK Jr. and Bobby Jr., announced his presidential party switch from a Democrat to an Independent just two days before arriving at NLC.

“It became clear to us that the Democratic Party and its corporate donors were not going to actually let me participate in a fair fight,” Kennedy Jr. said. “Americans out there are tired, want to real solutions, and solutions that are not part of the tribal ideology of both parties.”

NLC student Erika Greear had no idea about the rally happening in the school’s gym until a classmate informed her of it.

She was not previously aware of his running for presidency nor his exact relation to President John F. Kennedy, but she decided to attend the rally anyway.

“He actually brought up a lot of points that I definitely agree with,” Greear said. “Talking about major corporations owning a lot in the US like Black Rock, for example, it’s not something you hear politicians talk about.”

Many critics are calling Kennedy Jr.’s run for presidency a spoiler candidacy – meaning a candidate that will lose the election and affect President Joe Biden’s or Donald J. Trump’s chance of winning.

Kennedy Jr. said, “My aim is to take votes away from both of them, and spoil it for both of them to [then] be president myself.”

Rally attendee Justin Smith said it’s going to be an uphill battle to run as a third-party candidate.

“I think if he continues to talk about the things that he talks about and look out for the American people in the way that I believe that he does, then I think he’s got a good chance [of winning],” he said.

Smith agrees with Kennedy Jr.’s views on health and the pharmaceutical industry, which is why he supports him.

Kennedy Jr. has a background as an environmental lawyer, writer and activist; with a reputation of being anti-vaxxer.

But in an exclusive interview with the News-Register after the rally, he said: “I’ve never been an anti-vaxxer. That’s applied to me by the mainstream media and by the pharmaceutical companies that advertise on mainstream media to marginalize me and vilify me. What I’ve always said is that we need good science. We need the same kind of safety studies for vaccines [like] we have for everything that we mandate for other medical products.”

RFK Jr. (left) and his security guard (right). (Theressa Velazquez)

During the rally, he addressed issues such as poverty, the challenges of buying homes in America, and the number of young adults who live with their parents. He also mentioned the dissatisfaction of many young adults with American politics.

“A majority of young people in this country just really don’t care,” Greear said. “They are disillusioned about our government and [the] people who run everything.”

Kennedy Jr.’s campaign priorities include affordable cost of living and housing, protecting the environment, and putting a stop to proxy wars. He is also focused on promoting racial healing and political reconciliation.

“He made good points on like being independent, having your own opinion, and your own view on things that isn’t Democrat or Republican so, I thought that was pretty cool,” Greear said.

She did research on Kennedy Jr. soon after the rally and discovered that some of his family members did not approve of his candidacy.

On Oct. 9, Joseph P. Kennedy II, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Rory and Kerry Kennedy published a statement on X saying: “The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third-party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country. Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment … We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”

Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Kennedy Jr.’s cousin, said in response to the tweet, “I was so proud to be standing next to my cousin Bobby today. His energy and values are everything our family believes in. Go Bobby!”

Greear plans to vote but has not decided who to support yet.

“RFK Jr. is a new candidate, a new option for me,” she said. “I will keep up with him, and I’ll keep doing research on him.”

Faith Lungu
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Theressa Velazquez, Editor-in-Chief
Faith Lungu, Contributing Writer

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