18 April 2024
Politics

Aaron Rodgers and Jesse Ventura High R.F.Ok. Jr.’s Record for Operating Mate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has lately approached the N.F.L. quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the previous Minnesota governor {and professional} wrestler Jesse Ventura about serving as his working mate on an unbiased presidential ticket, and each have welcomed the overtures, two folks acquainted with the discussions stated.

Mr. Kennedy confirmed on Tuesday that the 2 males had been on the high of his record. It isn’t clear if both has been formally provided the put up, nevertheless, and Mr. Kennedy continues to be contemplating a shortlist of potential candidates, the folks acquainted with the discussions stated.

Mr. Kennedy stated that he had been talking with Mr. Rodgers “fairly repeatedly” for the previous month, and that he had been in contact with Mr. Ventura because the former governor launched him at a marketing campaign occasion final month in Arizona.

A consultant for Mr. Rodgers didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Mr. Ventura couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

The involvement of Mr. Rodgers — who is predicted to begin for the New York Jets this fall, on the peak of marketing campaign season — or of Mr. Ventura may add star energy and unbiased zeal to Mr. Kennedy’s outsider bid. Democrats have anxious that Mr. Kennedy may siphon votes away from President Biden, tilting an in depth election to former President Donald J. Trump, and Mr. Biden’s allies have been working to dam Mr. Kennedy from the poll throughout the nation.

Mr. Kennedy, 70, an environmental lawyer and scion of a storied Democratic household, has in recent times change into outstanding for his vaccine skepticism and his promotion of conspiracy theories concerning the federal authorities and public well being equipment. Mr. Rodgers, too, has more and more embraced the function of movie star provocateur and contrarian for his stances on vaccines, public well being and the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Kennedy is predicted to call his working mate within the coming weeks, forward of deadlines in states that require him to have a vice-presidential decide to petition for poll entry. He initially ran for president as a Democrat however introduced in October that he would run as an unbiased as a substitute, accusing Democrats of corruptly blocking his problem to Mr. Biden.

In latest months, Mr. Kennedy and his camp have approached a minimum of a half-dozen folks, with various levels of ritual, to gauge their curiosity in serving as his working mate. Apart from Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Ventura, he’s stated to have spoken with former Consultant Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky; and Andrew Yang, the previous candidate for president and New York mayor, the 2 folks acquainted with the discussions stated.

Mr. Yang didn’t reply to requests for remark. Mr. Paul’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark. Ms. Gabbard couldn’t be reached for remark.

All have turned him down, or their conversations haven’t superior, aside from Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Ventura, the folks acquainted with the discussions stated.

If something may very well be interpreted as a touch of the place Mr. Kennedy may lean, the area identify kennedyrodgers.com was registered final week utilizing a GoDaddy host.

Mr. Rodgers, 40, is a four-time winner of the N.F.L.’s Most Priceless Participant award, main the Inexperienced Bay Packers to a Tremendous Bowl victory in 2011. He’s anticipated to begin for the New York Jets this 12 months, after his debut with the crew final season ended abruptly with a rupture of his left Achilles’ tendon within the opening minutes of the primary recreation.

It isn’t clear how working for the second-highest workplace within the land would work along with his day job. He said recently that he hoped to play within the N.F.L. for “two or three or 4 extra years.”

It will additionally not be the primary time Mr. Rodgers sought so as to add a aspect gig to his soccer profession. In 2021, whereas taking part in for the Packers, he was amongst those that auditioned to be the host of the quiz present “Jeopardy!”

A spokesman for the New York Jets didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The crew is owned by Woody Johnson, a outstanding donor to former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump appointed Mr. Johnson to be his ambassador to Britain.

Mr. Rodgers has been outspoken on political and social points in recent times. Final month, in an look on Joe Rogan’s fashionable podcast, Mr. Rodgers stated he had misplaced mates, allies and sponsorships over his public choice to not get vaccinated.

Mr. Rodgers has promoted his skepticism about Covid vaccines throughout his common visitor spots on the ESPN present hosted by Pat McAfee, a former soccer punter-turned-podcaster. In January, Mr. Rodgers had a spat with the late-night host Jimmy Kimmel when he falsely instructed courtroom paperwork would hyperlink Mr. Kimmel with Jeffrey Epstein throughout an look on Mr. McAfee’s present.

Mr. Rodgers was an early backer of Mr. Kennedy’s presidential bid. Final month, Mr. Kennedy shared a picture on social media of them mountain climbing collectively.

Mr. Ventura, 72, was well-known within the Seventies and ’80s as knowledgeable wrestler often called Jesse “the Physique” Ventura, and he additionally appeared in films and tv earlier than he entered politics. He was elected governor of Minnesota in 1998 on the Reform Occasion ticket, and served for one time period.

He has since change into a outstanding determine in unbiased and third-party politics. He has written a number of books, and now has a Substack, “Die First Then Give up,” along with his son.

In a YouTube interview 4 months in the past, Mr. Ventura stated he would contemplate a proposal from Mr. Kennedy to serve on his ticket.

Reid J. Epstein and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett and Susan C. Beachy contributed analysis.