Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who had been running in the Democratic presidential primary, declared during a speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Monday that he is now running as an independent candidate.
“Instead of two parties we have this kind of uniparty,” Kennedy said, “a two-headed monster that’s constantly bickering with itself as it leads us all over a cliff.”
The Kennedy family’s political dynasty is tied to the Democratic Party, including President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated during his White House tenure, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was killed while seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I haven’t made this decision lightly. It is painful for me to let go of the party of my uncles, my father, of my grandfather and of both of my great-grandfathers — John ‘Honey Fitz’ Fitzgerald, Boston’s first Irish Catholic mayor, and Patrick Kennedy, a Boston ward boss, who together, launched my family’s political dynasty,” Kennedy noted in a piece published on Fox News.
Kennedy had been failing to gain traction against Biden, with polls indicating that the incumbent president is trouncing both Kennedy and Marianne Williamson.
Biden and former President Donald Trump both appear to be on track to clinch their respective parties’ presidential nominations.
While an independent presidential bid is unlikely to successfully overthrow the two-party political system that has long dominated American politics, Kennedy’s independent bid will likely draw some votes away from one or both of the major parties’ candidates during the 2024 presidential contest.
“Bobby Kennedy Jr.’s announcement to run as an Independent is a dangerous and cynical move by wealthy Republicans to put Trump back in the WH. I talked with Bobby and told him that what he is doing could destroy American Democracy. He didn’t care,” Rob Reiner tweeted.
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