Several RFK Jr. siblings set to endorse Biden

Over a dozen members of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s family, including six of his siblings, are endorsing President Biden in Philadelphia Thursday even as he makes his own bid for Biden’s job as an independent candidate.

Kennedy’s sister, Kerry Kennedy, is expected to praise Mr. Biden as a leader in the mold of her father, Robert F. Kennedy, who “stood for equal justice, human rights and freedom from want and fear — just as President Biden does today,” according to excerpts of her remarks released by the Biden campaign.

Her father served as attorney general in John F. Kennedy’s administration and was running for president himself when he was assassinated in 1968.

Speaking for the family members who are endorsing Mr. Biden, Kerry Kennedy will also have harsh words for presumptive Republican nominee and former President Donald Trump.

“I can only imagine how Donald Trump’s outrageous lies and behavior would have horrified my father,” she’s expected to say, and will accuse Trump of “running to take us backwards, attacking the most basic rights and freedoms that are core to who we are as Americans.” 

The excerpts did not contain any mention of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., but several of his family members have already expressed their opposition to his candidacy.

When Kennedy announced in October that he would drop his campaign for the presidency as a Democrat and run instead as an independent, four of his siblings — documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, former Rep. Joe Kennedy II and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend — called his decision to oppose Mr. Biden “dangerous to our country.” In a statement at the time, they said, “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment.” The four said of his decision to run as an independent that, “We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”

In addition to Kerry Kennedy, RFK Jr.’s siblings, Rory Kennedy, Joe Kennedy II, Christopher Kennedy, Maxwell Kennedy, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, as well as several other relatives, are endorsing Mr. Biden Thursday.

Mr. Biden’s campaign noted that the president has long admired the Kennedys and has cited the Kennedy family’s devotion to the causes of justice and human rights.

The president has had a bust of Robert F. Kennedy in the Oval Office and has said RFK inspired him to work as a public defender and later run for office.

A bust of Robert F. Kennedy is visible behind President Biden in the Oval Office as he speaks during a virtual meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2021. Andrew Harnik / AP

Last month, on St. Patrick’s Day, Mr. Biden gave members of the extended Kennedy family a private tour of the Oval Office and West Wing and celebrated with them and hundreds of guests at a holiday reception. Kennedy family members posted photos with the president, signaling that they stand with him rather than with the Kennedy running against him.

Several of the Kennedys will be joining Mr. Biden for a grassroots organizing event and will help with voter outreach, according to the campaign.

Kristin Brown, Allison Novelo and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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