Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launches unlikely presidential bid as a Democrat


(BOSTON) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist and attorney from the famed political Kennedy family, announced on Wednesday that he is running for president in 2024 as a Democrat.

Son of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, the 69-year-old launched his candidacy at Boston Park Plaza in Boston.

“I’ve come here today to announce my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States,” he said, noting that the aim of his campaign, and presidency, would be to “end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power.”

Kennedy, who has espoused vaccine hesitancy since the 2000s, has become one of the most prominent voices in the anti-vaccine movement, according to experts, as the founder of Children’s Health Defense, a nonprofit organization known mainly for its anti-vaccine efforts.

Kennedy, a self-described “lifelong Democrat,” through his support of what critics call conspiracies about the COVID-19 vaccines, has garnered support from some unlikely bedfellows on the right.

“RFK Jr. could jump into the Republican primary for president, and only [Ron] DeSantis and [former President Donald] Trump, I think, would do better,” former Trump adviser Steve Bannon recently said on MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s streaming program, “Lindell TV.”

He’ll now face Marianne Williamson, a self-help author who announced her bid on March 4. He’ll likely also oppose President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly said he intends to run for reelection in 2024 barring some major issues such as his health. However, the Democrat has not officially announced a decision.

The White House declined to comment on Kennedy’s presidential announcement on Wednesday, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre invoking the HATCH Act — a law that restricts political activities of federal employees — to dodge questions about a potential Biden opponent.

“So it’s 2024 — the HATCH Act — I’m not going to touch that,” she said at a press briefing. “I’m not going to touch that with a 12-foot pole.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.