Last updated on November 15th, 2023 at 04:17 am
PHILADELPHIA, PA—OCT. 9 — In a surprising move that has caught the attention of political analysts and voters, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has stepped back from the Democratic primary to announce his candidacy as an independent for the 2024 presidential election.
Kennedy Jr. Leaves Democratic Primary to Run as Independent
Speaking to a large crowd at Independence Hall, Kennedy stated, “I’m here to announce that I’m running for president of the United States as an independent. But that’s not all—I’m also here to work with you on creating a new vision for our nation.”
Kennedy, who comes from a family with a long history in Democratic politics, has often been described as a moderate with populist leanings. However, his past statements and actions suggest a strong focus on environmental issues and socialist principles. “It’s difficult to leave a party that my family has been so involved in, but I see no other way to bring about meaningful change,” Kennedy said during his speech.
Kennedy’s choice to run as an independent seems to be influenced by tactical thinking. “If I were to run as an independent, it would have a greater impact on Trump than on Biden,” he acknowledged a couple of weeks ago. The emphasis appears to be less on capturing the presidency and more on affecting the final result. Critics suggest that Kennedy’s move is designed to split the vote, ultimately helping Joe Biden. “The main goal is to prevent a Trump victory,” Kennedy stressed, adding, “My own chances are not the main concern.”
Kennedy’s policy preferences have sparked considerable discussion. In a 2019 social media post, he supported Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s idea of a 70 percent top personal income tax rate. “This is significant,” he commented, also endorsing Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal,’ a program estimated to require a massive financial investment from Americans over the next ten years.
Furthermore, Kennedy has been vocal in his criticism of corporate influence. He announced his separation “from the influence of Wall Street, major tech companies, pharmaceutical giants, large agricultural businesses, defense contractors, and the numerous lobbyists who have a disproportionate say in Congress.” His activist side was also evident when a 2016 memo showed that he had called for a ban on ExxonMobile in New York, a move thought to have influenced a fracking ban in the state.
Kennedy’s decision adds a new element to the already intense 2024 presidential race. While some view him as a candidate who could disrupt the election in favor of Joe Biden, others see his independent run as a sincere effort to challenge a system he considers broken.
Regardless of the interpretation, his decision has certainly added a new dynamic, leaving the country curious about how this will affect the path to the presidency.