By Caden Pearson
Eric Clapton helped raise $2.2 million for the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a political action committee (PAC) at a private fundraiser on Monday night, the Kennedy campaign announced Tuesday.
The star-studded event, held in the upscale Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, raised a total of $2.2 million, with $1 million earmarked for Mr. Kennedy’s campaign, while the remaining $1.2 million will bolster a PAC dedicated to supporting his bid for the presidency.
“I am deeply grateful to Eric Clapton for bringing his musical artistry and rebellious spirit to my gathering in Los Angeles last night and helping raise $2.2 million for my campaign,” Mr. Kennedy said in a statement released by his campaign.
Mr. Kennedy, who is the son of assassinated former presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, expressed his appreciation for music having the power to bring people together “in our divided society.”
“Eric sings from the depths of the human condition. If he sees in me the possibility of bringing unity to our country, it is only possible because artists like him invoke a buried faith in the limitless power of human beings to overcome any obstacle,” Mr. Kennedy said in a statement.
In late August, the Kennedy campaign revealed that Mr. Clapton would be headlining the exclusive fundraising event, where ticket prices reportedly ranged from a minimum of $3,300 to a maximum of $6,600.
At the time, Mr. Clapton expressed his excitement about the event in a brief video message, praising Mr. Kennedy for his commitment to championing “truth, unity, peace, and posterity.”
Both Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Clapton have criticized COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Mr. Kennedy is one of two Democratic candidates running against President Joe Biden, who is facing an impeachment probe and who has the support of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in seeking a second term in the White House.
The presidential hopeful recently accused the DNC of rigging the presidential primary system to hinder any substantial challenge to President Biden’s campaign.
In an open letter published on Sept. 13, Mr. Kennedy accused DNC leadership of going “off track” by limiting democracy and manipulating the primary rules to favor President Biden.
“The DNC and the Joe Biden campaign have essentially merged into one unit, financially and strategically,” Mr. Kennedy wrote.
Section 4 of the DNC’s charter states that the party chair is required to maintain impartiality and evenhandedness when it comes to presidential candidates and their campaigns.
In February, the DNC passed a resolution with unanimous agreement, pledging its “full and complete support” for both the president and Vice President Kamala Harris. This resolution was adopted prior to Mr. Kennedy’s launch of his campaign several months later.
Responding to Mr. Kennedy’s criticisms, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison told his campaign in a letter cited by The Washington Post that the criticism was based on “serious misunderstandings” of the nominating process.
“I am hopeful that a meeting with our Delegate Selection leadership team will prevent future instances of voters receiving erroneous information that could cause confusion about the equity of the Democratic nominating process,” Mr. Harrison wrote, per the report.
The Biden campaign has raised more than $72 million between April and the end of the quarter in July. While these figures are substantial, they fall short when compared to the amounts raised by previous American presidents at this stage in their reelection campaigns. For instance, in 2019, then-President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised a total of $105 million in the second quarter, reported The Associated Press.
The poll by RealClearPolitics, as of Sept. 19, put Mr. Kennedy in a distant second with 11.9 points for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, following President Joe Biden with 66.6 points.