Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the prominent conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxer, is officially running as an independent. On Monday, the Kennedy scion, who has been politically disowned by much of his family, announced that he was ditching his longshot efforts to defeat Joe Biden in the Democratic primary.
The announcement prompted more family disavowal. Kennedy’s sister, Kerry Kennedy, posted a message to social media:
Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment. Today's announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country. @roryekennedy @joekennedy @KKT_Kennedy pic.twitter.com/WJfGwSxN1z
— Kerry Kennedy (@KerryKennedyRFK) October 9, 2023
The move follows a presidential campaign that has been mired in controversy, particularly after Kennedy was caught airing anti-semitic conspiracy theories. And of course, as the founder of the anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense, Kennedy has been widely condemned for promoting anti-vaccine views on the campaign trail. As my colleague David Corn reported, GOP and Trump PAC donors have actively supported Kennedy’s White House ambitions.
Kennedy’s announcement on Monday comes as Democrats become increasingly concerned that third-party candidates could throw the 2024 election to Donald Trump.