Democrats have largely coalesced around President Joe Biden with 75% of Democrats saying they prefer the president for a second term. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hopes to capitalize on concern of Biden’s age to force a conversation about who is running the country. Kennedy ran with around 20% support at the high water point of his campaign in May-June. Real Clear Politics puts Kennedy’s support around 11.7%.
Joe Biden’s Latest Challenge
Last weekend, Biden’s staff cut off a press conference in Vietnam while the president appeared confused and started rambling incoherently. Rumors have plagued Washington that the commander-in-chief is not all there and that his staff actually runs things.
Kennedy told Fox News Digital that the public deserves to see that Biden is his own man via “unscripted meetings and interactions with voters.”
“It’s important for the American people to know that their president has the vigor to handle this very rigorous job and I think there are enough doubts about that now that President Biden really needs to come out and have unscripted meetings and interactions with voters, that he needs to do some town halls and retail politics and hopefully a debate so that the American people can make a choice about whether or not the president is up to the job,’ Kennedy said.
Former President Barack Obama famously quipped to comedian Stephen Colbert, “I used to say if I can make an arrangement where I had a stand-in or front-man or front-woman and they had an earpiece in and I was just in my basement in my sweats looking through the stuff and I could sort of deliver the lines while someone was doing all the talking and ceremony, I’d be fine with that because I found the work fascinating.”
Some in Washington have observed Biden and wondered if Obama was actually serious when he said this. Biden’s advisers have largely been drawn from those who served in the Obama administration, and Barack Obama himself mysteriously remained in the city after leaving office.
If Biden wins another term he will be 82. So far his public activities at which he has appeared confused and out of touch. His public falls project the image of a man who is frail.
“A lot of people will say that ‘well President Biden is surrounded by very good people who will run the country even if he can’t,’ but I don’t think that’s a good way for democracy to work,’ Kennedy told Fox News on Tuesday.
Kennedy charges that “unelected people in lanyards are going to be making critical decisions in a very, very difficult time in our history.”
RFK Jr.: DNC Doesn’t Believe in Democracy
The Kennedy scion has also accused the Democratic National Committee of being anti-democratic and rigging the process in Biden’s favor. Leaked emails in 2016 disclosed that the electoral process in the Democratic primary that year had been rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor to keep Sen. Bernie Sanders from being competitive.
“The DNC’s own rules say that they have to be neutral during the election but they are very open about having abandoned their neutrality and they’ve made a series of rules that make it almost — if those rules continue — it makes it almost impossible for anybody except Joe Biden to win the primary process,” Kennedy said. “We live in a time when a lot of people believe the system is rigged, that democracy is no longer functioning.”
The Democratic National Committee rebutted Kennedy on Wednesday.
“[I]t is clear that there are serious misunderstandings of the Democratic nominating process that are important to correct,” Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison wrote in the letter to the Kennedy campaign obtained by The Washington Post. “I am hopeful that a meeting with our Delegate Selection leadership team will prevent future instances of voters receiving erroneous information that could cause confusion about the equity of the Democratic nominating process.”
Kennedy Out of Touch With Most Democrats
At the same time, polls show that Kennedy’s talk about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic have put him well outside of the mainstream of today’s Democratic Party. His support has sunk as he has spouted views that most Democrats consider fringe, especially among college-educated white voters in urban and suburban areas.
“Yet during that same period, Mr. Kennedy appeared on more than two dozen podcasts hosted by personalities popular with the right wing, such as Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan, as well as in online meetings and video streams where he brought up a variety of fringe ideas. At times, he made unfounded claims about vaccines and questioned whether chemicals in the water supply were causing ‘sexual dysphoria’ among children in the United States,” New York Times reporter Sheera Frankel wrote. “The shift in Mr. Kennedy’s behavior is stark after his nearly two decades of promoting unsubstantiated theories about vaccines and other matters. Misinformation researchers said the candidate had probably tempered his most extreme positions to appeal to a wider audience and win over voters.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.