Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced on Monday that he is ending his 2024 presidential bid in the Democratic Party and will now run as an independent.
“I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate,” the 69-year-old told a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia.
Kennedy maintained that the political divisions in the U.S. were “deliberately orchestrated” and declared himself as the solution for people who are “fed up with being fooled and [are] ready to take back power.”
Kennedy was unsuccessful in forcing the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden into holding debates.
A CNN analysis believes that the last time a third party candidate had as much support as Kennedy was when Ross Perot ran in the 1996 cycle.
In the hours before he went onstage in Philadelphia, there was a subtle change on Mr. Kennedy’s campaign website. Where it had once read “I am a Kennedy Democrat,” with the family name in italics, it was changed to: “I am a Kennedy American.”
To roars of applause, Mr. Kennedy told his supporters they were “declaring independence” from a lengthy list of perceived adversaries: “Wall Street, Big Tech, Big Pharma”; the “military industrial complex”; “the mercenary media”; “the cynical elites”; both of the major political parties and “the entire rigged system.”
Most experts believe that Kennedy’s independent run likely would hurt Republicans more than Democrats in a general election as his favorable numbers are higher among Republicans than Democrats.
“Make no mistake – a Democrat in Independent’s clothing is still a Democrat,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “RFK Jr. cannot hide from his record of endorsing Hillary, supporting the Green New Deal, fighting against the Keystone Pipeline, and praising AOC’s tax hikes – he is your typical elitist liberal and voters won’t be fooled.”
“American families deserve commonsense leadership that will return America’s energy independence, stop Bidenflation, secure our border, and get our country back on track,” she added, “which is why our Republican nominee will be the next President of the United States.”
RFK Jr. announced he is dropping out of the Democratic primary race against Biden and will run for president as an independent.
RFK's siblings denounced this move:
"Today's announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be… pic.twitter.com/2xRi5H1OYF
— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) October 9, 2023