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HomeGeneralRFK Jr.’s Super Bowl Ad Sparks Criticism Over His Independent White House...

RFK Jr.’s Super Bowl Ad Sparks Criticism Over His Independent White House Bid

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A picture of Robert Kennedy
Source: Holden_Culotta/X

Robert Kennedy Jr.’s aspirations for the presidency sparked public family drama following a Super Bowl ad aired by a political action committee. The ad invoked the Democratic family’s legacy, implicitly drawing comparisons between the independent candidate and his assassinated uncle, President John F. Kennedy.

The 30-second spot, funded by the American Values 2024 Super PAC supporting Kennedy, showcased a condensed version of a campaign song utilized by the 35th president in his 1960 campaign.

The ad also employed cartoon and newsreel effects, utilizing black-and-white images of Robert Kennedy Jr. reminiscent of JFK. However, departing from Kennedy’s historical ties to the Democratic Party dynasty, the ad encouraged Americans to “Vote Independent.”

After the game, Kennedy addressed online criticism, including comments from one of his cousins, clarifying that his campaign was not responsible for the spot, reportedly costing around $7 million.

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“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” Kennedy expressed late Sunday night on X, formerly Twitter. “The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. … I love you all. God bless you.”

Despite the controversy, as of Monday morning, Kennedy had pinned the ad to the top of his X profile. “Our momentum is growing,” he stated. “It’s time for an Independent President to heal the divide in our country.”

Bobby Shriver, whose mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics, criticized his cousin over the ad and his stance against vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases.

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“My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces – and my mother’s,” Shriver wrote. “She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA.”

Shriver, whose father, Sargent Shriver, founded the Peace Corps, also hinted at his own efforts to enhance health care access in the developing world. Robert Kennedy Jr. responded separately to his cousin: “Bobby. I’m so sorry if that advertisement caused you pain. … I send you and your family my sincerest apologies. God bless you.”

Kennedy is pursuing a presidential bid as an independent despite his family’s longstanding ties to the Democratic Party. Whether he can secure ballot access in enough states to launch a substantial national campaign remains uncertain.

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However, his candidacy emerges at a time when many voters are disillusioned with the prospect of a rematch between President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, a Republican. The emergence of independent or third-party efforts in battleground states could potentially influence the outcome in unforeseeable ways.

“It is fitting that the first national ad promoting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy was bought and paid for by Donald Trump’s largest donor this cycle,” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Alex Floyd. According to federal filings, he was referring to Tim Mellon, a major donor to Trump who also gave American Values $15 million last year.

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