Politics

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Hints Strongly at Third-Occasion Presidential Bid

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hinted strongly on Friday that he would run for president on a third-party ticket as a substitute of continuous his long-shot Democratic main problem to President Biden, a transfer that will set off alarms amongst Democrats fearful about its potential to trigger chaos in November 2024.

Mr. Kennedy, in a video released by his campaign, teased a “main announcement” in Philadelphia on Oct. 9, promising to talk about “a sea change in American politics” and dropping clues that he could be persevering with his presidential marketing campaign exterior the Democratic Occasion.

“How are we going to win in opposition to the established Washington pursuits?” Mr. Kennedy says within the video. “It’s not by means of enjoying the sport by the corrupt guidelines that the corrupt powers and the vested pursuits have rigged to maintain us all of their thrall. As an alternative, we’re going to need to rewrite the assumptions and alter the habits of American politics.”

“What I’ve come to know after six months of campaigning: There’s a path to victory,” he declares at one other level, saying that the extra he sees the inherent goodness of the American individuals, “the extra the trail to victory turns into seen.”

Mr. Kennedy’s prime aides declined to elaborate about his intentions. However his supporters have expressed frustration with the Democratic Nationwide Committee’s main course of, which has been geared towards backing Mr. Biden’s re-election bid.

“It’s form of apparent,” stated Lincoln Chafee, the previous Rhode Island governor and senator, who’s backing Mr. Kennedy. “The primaries are so rigged, there’s no debates.”

Mr. Kennedy, he added, “has to have a look at his choices.”

Democrats have watched Mr. Kennedy’s candidacy nervously because it started in April. They worry that any third-party candidacy subsequent 12 months may siphon off essential votes within the battleground states from Mr. Biden, finally serving to former President Donald J. Trump, the present favourite to be the Republican nominee.

Mr. Kennedy, 69, an environmental lawyer and outstanding purveyor of conspiracy theories whose household has symbolized Democratic politics for many years, has constructed a following amongst Silicon Valley tech executives, disaffected voters in each events and skeptics of the medical and scientific institutions.

After some polls within the late spring confirmed him with as much as 20 % of Democratic assist, Mr. Kennedy’s fortunes fell as extra consideration was paid to his panoply of views on the coronavirus pandemic, immigration and vaccines which might be effectively exterior the celebration’s mainstream.

By late summer time, surveys of possible Democratic main voters confirmed Mr. Kennedy polling within the low single digits. Along with his marketing campaign roiled by information protection of recordings of bigoted remarks Mr. Kennedy made at a New York dinner, he now not seemed to be a risk to Mr. Biden even in New Hampshire, which the president and the Democratic Nationwide Committee have spurned because the first-in-the-nation main state.

In current weeks, Mr. Kennedy has dropped hints about persevering with his presidential marketing campaign as a third-party candidate. He met with the Libertarian Occasion chairwoman on the sidelines of a political gathering in Memphis and instructed on a podcast that he may go away the Democratic Occasion.

As the fact set in for Mr. Kennedy that Mr. Biden wouldn’t debate him and that the Democratic Nationwide Committee would stay loyal to the president, he started utilizing his platform to turn out to be extra vital of the celebration and its presidential election course of.

This month, he published an open letter to Jaime Harrison, the D.N.C. chairman, and celebration members pleading for lodging in his problem to Mr. Biden.

“The D.N.C. is just not speculated to favor one candidate over one other,” Mr. Kennedy wrote.

The Biden marketing campaign and its allies on the D.N.C. have summarily dismissed Mr. Kennedy’s candidacy. Officers for each the president’s marketing campaign and the celebration have declined to make use of his identify in public responses to information articles about Mr. Kennedy’s marketing campaign.

The truth that some Republicans imagine it will be advantageous to Mr. Trump if Mr. Kennedy embarks on a third-party run has raised questions on whether or not anybody within the former president’s world has inspired it.

Over time, third-party candidacies have been a spotlight of Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s longest-serving political adviser.

“I predict #RFK abandons the rigged Democrat nominating course of and runs as an Impartial,” Mr. Stone wrote on Sept. 24 on X, the web site previously generally known as Twitter.

In a short interview on Friday, Mr. Stone stated he had no involvement in Mr. Kennedy’s effort. “I’m supporting Donald Trump,” he stated.

Regardless of Mr. Kennedy’s earlier flirtation with the Libertarian Occasion, Brian McWilliams, a spokesman for the celebration, stated there had been no current conversations between Mr. Kennedy and its management.

Inserting himself on the poll as a candidate of a newly established third celebration could be an onerous and costly proposition for Mr. Kennedy, who must navigate poll entry legal guidelines in sufficient states to be a critical presidential candidate.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.