American political scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is officially challenging US President Joe Biden for the 2024 Democratic nomination.
The bid was announced on Wednesday (local time) in Boston, a city closely associated with the Kennedy political dynasty, as the 69-year-old used his speech to draw heavily on his family ties.
He invoked his father, former US senator Robert F. Kennedy, and uncle, Democratic President John F. Kennedy, who were killed in high-profile assassinations in the 1960s.
Despite his family’s strong ties to the Biden administration – with many employed in high-ranking positions under the leader of the free world – Mr Kennedy Jr. has been vocally opposed to many of the 80-year-old president’s decisions throughout his term.
This includes the war in Ukraine and the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The environmental lawyer is well-known for his anti-vaccine advocacy, including penning a book titled The Real Anthony Fauci and holding multiple rallies during the pandemic.
He was hand-picked by then-president Donald Trump to head up a vaccine safety review panel in 2017, a move which was criticised by scientists.
He appeared on far-right activist Alex Jones’ InfoWars and has since been banned from YouTube and Instagram for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
Mr Kennedy also broke ranks within his family of political titans to argue for the parole of his father’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, when he was recommended for release in 2022.
Members of his family were not in attendance at his Wednesday announcement, something which Mr Kennedy openly acknowledged during his speech.
Many of the Kennedy clan have been outspoken in their opposition to the 69-year-old’s run, including his youngest brother, filmmaker Rory Kennedy.
He told CNN his eldest brother’s run was a “very difficult situation for him” and indicated he would be supporting President Biden in 2024.
“I love my older brother Bobby. He has extraordinary charisma and is a very gifted speaker,” the younger Kennedy told CNN.
“I admire his past work as an environmentalist – because of him, we can swim in the Hudson. But due to a wide range of Bobby’s positions, I’m supporting President Biden.”
Mr Kennedy’s campaign is seen by many political insiders as facing little chance for success, with a joint poll between media outlet USA Today and Suffolk University finding just 14 per cent of Biden voters support Kennedy.
He so far remains the only viable Democratic challenger to the president, with the only other nominee being self-help author Marianne Williamson who put her hand up for the nomination in 2020.
Mr Biden confirmed last Friday he would be running for re-election and is soon to make a formal announcement.
News Source: www.skynews.com.au