US Presidential Elections: Donald Trump and Joe Biden Have a Dangerous Rival*

Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump fear President John F. Kennedy’s nephew.

Former President Donald Trump will not pass up an opportunity to criticize or attack. Recently, he targeted Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a member of the Kennedy family, famous in American politics. Former President John F. Kennedy’s nephew is running for president himself, as an independent candidate.

Trump calls him a “Democrat ‘Plant,’” a “Radical Left Liberal who’s been put in place to help the Democratic president.” He called the Kennedy family “a bunch of lunatics.”

“He is not a Republican so don’t think you’re going to vote for him and feel good,” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social website.

The fierce attacks on Kennedy are a sign that the former president and his campaign staff feel threatened by Kennedy, who presents himself as an alternative to both candidates in the presidential elections, Trump being entangled in lawsuits and Joe Biden being criticized for his advanced age.

Robert F. Kennedy May Take Small Percentage of Votes

As an independent candidate, Kennedy (also known as RFK, in the same way that President Kennedy was known as JFK) does not have a greater chance of winning the American presidential election. This is confirmed by public opinion polls, where he enjoys only a small percentage of support. Moreover, as a third-party candidate, he’ll have to work hard to get his name on the ballot in every state. He claims that he will have completed the formalities to do so throughout the whole country by the holidays. But so far he has succeeded in only five states, namely California, Delaware, Michigan, Oklahoma and Utah.

Nevertheless, RFK poses a threat to both Trump and Biden. He may take several percentage points in the form of undecided voters or those put off by the other candidates. Meanwhile, in this year’s election, the fight is coming down to every last vote, since both main candidates are more or less equally favored.

“He’s a guy with a famous last name, so he can be dangerous,” says Pat Dennis, president of American Bridge, one of the Democratic groups helping Biden in his campaign — especially since RFK is exploiting his name to raise money for the campaign and to play on voters’ sentiments. Among others, his Super PAC (a type of campaign committee that cannot directly support a candidate, but can, among other things, campaign against their competitors) spent $7 million during this year’s Super Bowl on a campaign ad based on the one used by his famous uncle, President Kennedy.

Biden and a coalition of Democratic groups are also well aware of the threat and are campaigning against RFK. The Democratic National Committee is putting up billboards near places where Kennedy meets with voters. The Democratic Super PAC American Bridge follows him around with cameras, and other groups are preparing a negative campaign against Kennedy.

There is deep concern that independent candidate Kennedy poses a real threat to the republic by helping Trump win, according to Matt Bennett of Third Way in an interview with

Third Way is a center-left group involved in the anti-RFK campaign that, along with other Democratic organizations, pressured No Labels to abandon its plans to field an independent candidate in the current presidential election. “He is not his father … He is a right-wing crank. People really do not understand that yet,” adds Bennett.

The Kennedy Clan vs. Robert Kennedy Jr.

Biden is taking advantage of the fact that RFK is the black sheep of the Kennedy clan. Nearly 50 members of the family appeared at the White House in March in a show of support for Biden. A few weeks ago at a campaign rally, over a dozen Kennedys appeared alongside Biden and, one by one, expressed their support for the president. “We want to make crystal clear our feeling that the best way to move forward for America is to reelect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to four more years,” said Kerry Kennedy, RFK’s sister. Both she and the rest of the family, which adheres to Democratic principles and views, distance themselves from Robert, whose views are highly controversial.

RFK is quite a colorful character. Originally a supporter in the fight for environmental conservation, he became an advocate against vaccines. Some of his views, such as his unwavering support for Israel, interest in conspiracy theories, and criticism of vaccines and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, are issues in which he resembles Trump. He also sometimes defends the former president, saying that he “gets blamed for a lot of things that he didn’t do.”

A month ago, RFK even suggested that the prosecution of participants in the attack on the Capitol that took place in January 2021 may be politically motivated and that if he became president, he would nominate a special prosecutor to investigate whether Trump supporters were treated unfairly. However, he admits that the attack on the Capitol happened with Trump’s encouragement and “in the context of his delusion that the election was stolen from him.”

Like the former president, Kennedy who is Catholic, has a somewhat volatile stance on abortion. First he was in favor, then he withdrew his support of the 15-week abortion ban. But he says that he disagrees with Trump that it should be up to individual states to decide.

“It is quite possible that RFK will damage Trump more (than Biden), especially since there is unlikely to be any other moderate independent candidate for the never-Trumpers to vote for,” says Bernard Tamas of Valdosta State University, who specializes in analyzing the activities of independent candidates, in an interview with AP.

According to a March poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, slightly more Republicans than Democrats hold a favorable opinion of Kennedy; however, the same poll shows that more than half of Americans don’t know who he is.

*Editor’s note: The original Polish version of this article is available with a paid subscription.

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