By Jack Phillips
Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. responded to speculation that he could become former President Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate in a statement issued on Wednesday.
While Kennedy has given interviews to Trump-friendly media outlets in recent days, the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy tried to distance himself from Trump.
“Just to quell any speculation, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will I join Donald Trump on an electoral ticket. Our positions on certain fundamental issues, our approaches to governance, and our philosophies of leadership could not be further apart,” Kennedy, a prominent critic of childhood vaccines, wrote on Twitter.
He did not elaborate further on how he differs from Trump. But in a Twitter post on Wednesday, Kennedy alleged that the Trump administration sold weapons to Ukraine in 2017, but he also said that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, also provided billions of dollars to the Ukrainian military “amidst a steady barrage of hostile actions toward Russia.”
“The U.S. supported (with $5 billion) public protests that culminated in the 2014 armed, far-right coup against Ukraine’s democratically elected pro-Russian government, replacing it with an unelected pro-Western government handpicked by Neocon leader Victoria Nuland, the United States Under Secretary of State,” he also wrote, referring to alleged actions that were carried out by the Obama State Department in the Eastern European county amidst the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” that’s sometimes described as “color revolution” that toppled the previous government.
In a recent interview, Trump said that if he is elected, he’ll end the Ukraine-Russia war in “24 hours” and “would be easy” to accomplish. Trump also lamented the horrors of the war, noting that entire blocks of apartments have been flattened since the conflict erupted last year.
“You don’t knock down a whole city and say that two people got hurt,” Trump told GB News earlier this month, referring to reports of casualties. “Thousands of people are being killed in these cities that are being knocked down … these are massive buildings.”
Kennedy has also said that Trump was responsible for the widespread lockdowns that were implemented across the United States in early 2020 after the first COVID-19 cases were detected in the country. It’s worth noting, however, that Trump, as president, had virtually no power to implement lockdowns at the local and state level, while he never called for a nationwide lockdown due to the virus.
“It’s important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path forward producing the result that you want or certainly not a viable path forward and would ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent,” Trump said during a White House briefing in mid-2020.
Since Kennedy declared his candidacy several weeks ago, Trump has made virtually no mention of him in interviews or on his social media website Truth Social. Kennedy is facing President Joe Biden and self-help author Marianne Williamson in the Democratic primary, although it’s not clear how the primary will play out next year.
This week, Kennedy drew headlines when he again suggested that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy, which the CIA and other federal officials have long denied. It wasn’t the first time he asserted that the agency was linked to his uncle’s death.
Kennedy made reference to the book, “JFK and the Unspeakable,” written by James Douglas, for some of his assertions during an interview with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats Roundtable.” That book theorized that Kennedy was killed because he sought peacemaking during the Cold War before he was killed by his own security apparatus, which some outside experts have disputed.
“There is overwhelming evidence that the CIA was involved in his murder. I think it’s beyond a reasonable doubt at this point,” Kennedy said about the November 1963 incident in Dallas, Texas. “The evidence is overwhelming that the CIA was involved in the murder, and in the cover-up,” he also said.
Addressing reports of his comments this week, he added that “nobody should be surprised when Americans are distrustful of a government that refuses to reveal 60-year-old secrets. The American people are entitled to see every document, as the law requires,” according to a Twitter post.
Although Kennedy has been considered a long-shot Democrat candidate against an incumbent president, a new ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 58 percent of Democrats want a new candidate. And another poll from Emerson, released on April 27, shows that 21 percent of Democrat voters would cast their ballots for Kennedy.
Kennedy’s poll numbers, however, were dismissed by former White House press secretary Jen Psaki in an MSNBC opinion article.
“Yes, there have been effective challenges to incumbent presidents in the past. And yes, numerous challengers have defeated early presidential front-runners. Those movements shouldn’t be underestimated. But Kennedy’s early numbers probably have a lot more to do with name recognition than policy. His family is still beloved by many in the Democratic electorate, even though most people would never recognize him on the street,” wrote Psaki, who joined MSNBC soon after she left the White House last year.
That same ABC poll also found that Trump would potentially defeat Biden if the election was held today. Trump had 44 percent to Biden’s 38 percent, with 12 remaining undecided. The poll also found that 68 percent of respondents believe Biden, 80, is too old to be president, and only 36 percent believe Biden is handling the economy well.