April 13, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of the nation’s most prominent Democratic families, threw himself into the full support of legions of conservatives on Monday eager to tout his support for President Joe Biden. The primary challenge is nowhere in sight.

For more than two hours, Mr. Kennedy was on Twitter with the platform’s The increasingly right-leaning CEO Elon Musk. They had friendly back-and-forth with the likes of Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic congresswoman turned right-wing commentator; a top donor to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; and professional surfer Who has emerged as a prominent voice questioning the coronavirus vaccine.

Mr Kennedy, who announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidency in April, is himself a leading vaccine skeptic and promotes other conspiracy theories.Yet he remains the same Hovering around 20% The party has already ceded it to Mr. Biden in polls in the Democratic primary.

On Monday, he sounded like a more comfortable candidate in the burgeoning Republican presidential race.

He said he planned to travel to the Mexican border this week to “try to develop a policy of closing the border permanently,” called on the federal government to think about the Ukrainian war from the perspective of the Russians, and said drugs were to blame for the Ukrainian war. The rise of mass shootings in the United States.

“Prior to the introduction of Prozac, almost none of these incidents had occurred in our country, and we’ve never seen anything like this in the history of humanity, where people walked into children or strangers in a classroom and started shooting people,” Kennedy said. The gentleman said he noticed his father and uncle had been shot.

Mr Kennedy said he now had “about 50 people” working on his campaign. Unlike Marianne Williamson, another declared Democratic challenger to Mr. Biden, he does not appear to intend to appeal to Democrats who are ideologically opposed to the moderate president or otherwise uncomfortable with renominating him . Instead, he has used his campaign platform — and his reputation — to promote misinformation and ideas that have little traction within his party.

During a discussion with DeSantis’ top donor David Sacks, who is close to Mr. Musk, Mr. Kennedy attacked non-stop for nine minutes when asked “what happened to the Democrats.” Mr Biden is militant and claims their party is under the control of the pharmaceutical industry.

“I think the Democratic Party has become the party of war,” Mr Kennedy said. “I attribute this directly to President Biden,” he added. “He has supported a very belligerent, combative and aggressive foreign policy, and he sees violence as a legitimate political tool to achieve America’s goals abroad.”

The Democratic National Committee and Mr. Biden’s campaign declined to comment on Mr. Kennedy.

The event, which had an audience of more than 60,000 at its peak, at times felt like Mr. Kennedy was interviewing Mr. Musk about his management of Twitter, the platform since the billionaire bought it in October, according to Twitter. For more than 30 minutes at the event, the presidential candidate grilled the tech mogul about tweeting alleged Twitter documents, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

“These topics are really interesting to people, but I think a lot of the public wants to hear about your run for president,” Mr. Musk told Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy, 69, has long been a megaphone and purveyor of baseless theories, starting nearly two decades ago with skepticism about the results of the 2004 presidential election and about childhood vaccines in general. His audience for such misinformation has exploded during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, Mr Kennedy repeated a series of false statements, including:

  • After the 2010 Affordable Care Act, “Democrats got more money from drug companies than Republicans,” he said. analyze STAT News found that in 14 of the 16 election years since 1990, pharmaceutical company-linked PACs have given more money to Republicans than to Democrats.

  • He claimed, without evidence, that “Covid is clearly a biological weapons problem.” US intelligence agencies saw no evidence that this was the case.

  • When he blamed the use of psychiatric drugs for the increase in gun violence in the United States, he argued that the rate of gun ownership in the United States was similar to that in Switzerland. The United States has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, with an estimated 120.5 guns per 100 people, According to the latest international small arms survey. This is more than double the 52.8 of the next highest country, Yemen, and well above Switzerland’s 27.6.

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