Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a candidate running for president as an independent, found himself in a precarious position following a Super Bowl advertisement that prominently featured his link to the Kennedy legacy. The advertisement, which was not authorized by RFK Jr.'s campaign, led to a swift and pointed response from his family, particularly from his cousin, Bobby Shriver.
Shriver expressed his disapproval on X, stating, "My cousin's Super Bowl ad used our uncle's faces- and my Mother's. She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA. She strongly supported my health care work ... which he opposes."
This public denouncement underscores the deep divisions within the Kennedy family over RFK Jr.'s political and healthcare stances, which starkly contrast with the family's long-standing commitment to public health and science.
Responding to the criticism, RFK Jr. took to X to extend an apology to his family, emphasizing that the advertisement was independently created and aired by the American Values Super PAC, thus outside his campaign's purview.
"Bobby. I'm so sorry if that advertisement caused you pain. The ad was created and aired by the American Values Superpac without any involvement or approvals from my campaign. Federal rules prohibit Superpacs from consulting with me or my staff. I send you and your family my sincerest apologies. God bless you," RFK Jr. stated, aiming to quell the rising tensions.
The advertisement in question, which cost the American Values Super PAC $7 million, was designed to evoke the spirit of John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign. However, it has reignited a longstanding dispute within the Kennedy family, particularly given RFK Jr.'s controversial views on vaccines and healthcare, which have been a source of contention.
Tony Lyons, co-founder of the American Values Super PAC, defended the advertisement, suggesting that it aimed to present RFK Jr. as a beacon of change and a fighter against corruption, much like his esteemed relatives.
"The panicked DC power brokers are working overtime to keep Kennedy off the ballot because they know he can and will end their culture of greed and corruption," Lyons remarked, highlighting the perceived threat RFK Jr. poses to the status quo.
This familial discord comes at a time when RFK Jr.'s candidacy could potentially impact the broader political landscape, with some fearing his run could inadvertently benefit former President Donald Trump. As the political saga unfolds, the Kennedy family's internal dynamics and RFK Jr.'s controversial campaign continue to capture the public's attention, reflecting the enduring complexity of the Kennedy legacy in American political life.