RFK Jr. Apologises to Family, Distances Himself From Super Bowl Campaign Ad

Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has distanced himself from a Superbowl ad run by a supportive super PAC that provoked backlash from family members.

Independent candidate for president Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK) has issued an apology and distanced himself from the content of a controversial Superbowl campaign ad, which attracted massive backlash from within his family and drew criticism from some political pundits.

According to Anthony Lyons, the co-chairman of the super PAC, American Values 2024, it paid $7 million for the ad that ran nationally just before halftime of the game. The 30 second video drew heavily on the 1960 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s uncle, former President John F. Kennedy.

Google Trends showed that internet searches for “RFK” soared after the spot was broadcast, with terms related to Mr. Kennedy receiving about 100 times more searches than average. However, there was backlash from the family, including from RFK’s cousins, Mark and Bobby Shriver, who were angry that their late mother’s face was used in the video.

In a Feb. 11 post on social media platform X, RFK apologized for the incident and said the ad was made without his knowledge, as according to FEC rules, his campaign is not allowed to consult with PACs.

“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” RFK said in response to the backlash.

“The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign … I love you all. God bless you.”

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Federal campaign finance laws ban political campaigns from working directly in cooperation, consultation, or concert with super PACs. This includes candidates requesting or suggesting where, when, and how a super PAC airs its political communications.

American Values 2024 has recently come under scrutiny after a complaint from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleged illegal coordination with RFK’s campaign. Both the super PAC and RFK have denied all allegations.

Strategists Savage Ad

Among the other voices criticizing the ad was political strategist Robert Shrum, who was a speechwriter and consultant for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, RFK Jr.’s uncle. According to Mr. Shrum, one of the biggest problems with the ad was a clear-cut case of plagiarism. Mr. Shrum also claimed in a follow-up post that the video was initially supposed to be 60 seconds but the RFK Jr. campaign cut it down.

In a Feb. 12 post on X, he said, “This RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad is a straight-out plagiarism of JFK’s ad from 1960. ”

“What a fraud— and to quote Lloyd Bentsen with a slight amendment, Bobby, you’re no John Kennedy. Instead you are a Trump ally.”

Frank Luntz, a political strategist, also took issue with the ad but for a completely different reason.

“This RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad has been criticized for ripping off his uncle’s 1960 campaign,” Mr. Luntz said.

“It should actually be criticized for saying absolutely nothing. And at a cost of millions of dollars, it rips off political donors as well.”

RFK announced last October that he would leave the Democrat primary and run for president as an independent. He is the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy, who was shot and killed on Nov. 22, 1963, during a campaign stop in Dallas.

The Epoch Times has contacted Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s campaign for comment.

Jeff Louderback contributed to this article.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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