Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s working as a Democrat in opposition to President Joe Biden, tells many tales on the marketing campaign path about himself, his life’s work and what he stands for which are the other of what his record truly exhibits.
The Related Press discovered that Kennedy’s insistence that he’s not anti-vaccine would not sq. along with his lengthy record of opposition to vaccines. His claims that he’s a real Democrat inheriting the mantle of his well-known household are contradicted by his alignment with far proper figures and help from Republicans. And regardless of itemizing the atmosphere as a marketing campaign precedence, he has pushed bitcoin — a cryptocurrency that requires huge quantities of electrical energy from supercomputers to generate new cash, prompting most environmental advocates to loudly oppose it.
Kennedy’s marketing campaign is extensively thought of a protracted shot, but it surely’s gained media consideration as a consequence of his well-known identify and the chance that his run might weaken Biden forward of what’s anticipated to be an in depth normal election in 2024.
The marketing campaign did not return emails searching for remark in regards to the contradictions in his candidacy.
Listed here are the important thing takeaways from the AP’s reporting:
KENNEDY’S ANTI-VACCINE RECORD
Kennedy instructed a congressional committee this month: “I’ve by no means been anti-vaxx. I’ve by no means instructed the general public to keep away from vaccination.” However Kennedy has a protracted record of anti-vaccine feedback and rose to public prominence in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic via the work of his anti-vaccine group, Kids’s Well being Protection.
Simply this month, Kennedy stated in a podcast interview that “There’s no vaccine that’s protected and efficient” and instructed FOX Information that he nonetheless believes in the long-ago debunked concept that vaccines could cause autism. In a 2021 podcast, he recalled telling individuals on mountain climbing trails to not get their kids vaccinated.
That very same 12 months, Kennedy appeared in a video selling an anti-vaccine sticker marketing campaign by his nonprofit. A sticker proven beside him declared “IF YOU’RE NOT AN ANTI-VAXXER YOU AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION.”
The AP discovered that anti-vaccine activists are on the coronary heart of Kennedy’s marketing campaign. FEC data present a number of individuals paid to work on the marketing campaign beforehand labored for Kids’s Well being Protection.
Kennedy has additionally obtained substantial help from the anti-vaccine neighborhood.
Kids’s Well being Protection at the moment has a lawsuit pending in opposition to plenty of information organizations, amongst them The Related Press, accusing them of violating antitrust legal guidelines by taking motion to determine misinformation, together with about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines.
ASSOCIATION WITH FAR RIGHT HAS RAISED KENNEDY’S PROFILE
Kennedy is working as a Democrat, but he has aligned himself with far proper figures who’ve labored to subvert American democracy.
He has appeared on Infowars, the channel run by Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. He has granted interviews to former President Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson. After he headlined a cease on the ReAwaken America Tour, the Christian nationalist street present put collectively by former Trump nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn, he was photographed backstage with Flynn and Trump ally Roger Stone.
These appearances have led to goodwill on the proper. Trump supporters have floated a Trump-Kennedy unity ticket.
Kennedy’s run can be getting monetary help from the proper. An excellent PAC supporting Kennedy’s presidential run, referred to as Heal the Divide PAC, has deep ties to Republicans, Federal Election Fee data present.
Kennedy denied figuring out the PAC when it got here up at a current congressional listening to, however video out there on-line exhibits he was a visitor speaker at a Heal the Divide occasion simply two days earlier.
SUPPORT FOR BITCOIN RUNS COUNTER TO ENVIRONMENTAL STANCE
Kennedy lists the atmosphere as considered one of six prime priorities on his marketing campaign web site and has spent a few years talking in opposition to air pollution and local weather change as an environmental lawyer. But he has made supporting the energy-intensive cryptocurrency bitcoin a key a part of his platform.
Bitcoin mining, the method of producing new cash, makes use of huge quantities of electrical energy — greater than some whole nations, specialists say.
Kennedy has acknowledged the environmental downsides, however says he would not allow them to hinder its use. He promotes the argument that demand for the cryptocurrency will increase funding in renewable power initiatives.
Kennedy has invested between $100,001 and $250,000 in bitcoin, his monetary disclosure paperwork present.
KENNEDY INVOKES HIS FAMOUS FAMILY, WHILE RELATIVES DENOUNCE HIM
Although Kennedy peppers his speeches, podcast appearances and marketing campaign supplies with invocations of the Democratic Social gathering legacies of his uncle President John F. Kennedy and his father Robert F. Kennedy, his kin have distanced themselves from him and even denounced him.
“He’s buying and selling in on Camelot, superstar, conspiracy theories and battle for private achieve and fame,” Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson, stated of his cousin in an Instagram video earlier this month. “I’ve listened to him. I do know him. I do not know why anybody thinks he ought to be president. What I do know is, his candidacy is a humiliation.”
Kennedy’s current feedback that COVID-19 might have been “ethnically focused” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese language individuals — which he denies have been antisemitic however concedes he ought to have worded extra rigorously — additionally drew a condemnation from his sister, Kerry Kennedy.
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