Where did he come from? That question is being increasingly asked in Democrat circles as they watch Robert F. Kennedy Jr. rise in the public’s consciousness just as President Joe Biden tries to ignite his push for a 2024 return to the White House.
The Hill reports the aspiring Democratic Party presidential candidate is doing unexpectedly well in some polls and garnering increasing media attention as a result.
He’s received the backing of as much as 20 percent of Democratic-leaning voters in a handful of recent polls — an unexpected figure for anyone challenging an incumbent president, even more so for one from the same party.
The scion of the Kennedy political dynasty has also been on a press tour this week that included a Twitter Spaces discussion with Elon Musk, a digital town hall with journalist Michael Smerconish and a trip to the the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday night and early Tuesday morning, as Breitbart News reported.
Exclusive : Robert F. Kennedy Jr. meets local official at the U.S.-Mexico border
The Hill report sets out some of the Democrat fears, with detractors noting Kennedy Jr. is considered to be “a problematic fringe candidate who freely spreads conspiracy theories.”
Even so his profile as well as his media-ready image as an heir to the famous political dynasty – the 69-year-old is the son of assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy – have caused some to worry he could gain steam and potentially distract from the task of reelecting Joe Biden in 2024.
“Democrats would be foolish to mock or belittle RFK Jr. Every time we make fun of those who hold fringe positions, we lose,” said Michael Ceraso, a Democratic strategist and former campaign aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Democratic Party acting smug never works.”
The report goes on to note a recent Fox News survey placed Kennedy at 16 percent support among registered voters while a CNN poll released Friday shows him with 20 percent of support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents.
“Take RFK seriously, Biden,” Ceraso said. “If you don’t, we can create a stronger Republican Party that beats us in 2024. Like Bernie did in 2016, RFK has the potential to activate fringe anger if we mock them.”
Kennedy Jr. has never been shy to not only espouse his anti-establishment views and has willingly turned on enemies in his own party who seek to stymie his chances, as Breitbart News reported.
After he declared his candidacy for president as a Democrat, Kennedy slammed the Democrat National Committee (DNC) on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday for having a “rigged” primary system, with no debates and moving voting in South Carolina ahead of New Hampshire on the calendar.
“The DNC, at this point, has taken the official position that there will be no debate, and I think that’s unfortunate… I think what the DNC did to New Hampshire is also unfortunate,” Kennedy Jr. said to the host, Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak, addressing what the DNC is doing to the primary system.