Kennedy Jr. visit fuels 2024 rumors


Courtesy / New Hampshire Institute of Politics

Robert F Kennedy speaks at NHIOP amid 2024 presidential speculations.

Patrick McGann, News Editor

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Feb. 3 amid speculations about a potential 2024 presidential run. He spoke on environmental issues, the lack of bipartisanship in American government, and his skepticism on COVID vaccines and lockdowns. He also did not shoot down the idea of running for the presidency in 2024. 

Kennedy is an environmental lawyer, author, and the son of former US Senator Robert Kennedy and nephew of the late former President John F. Kennedy. His last name alone carries a significant amount of political weight. Much of his career has been focused on environmental issues and pollution. In more recent years, Kennedy has been a heavy critic of the COVID vaccine and government-issued lockdowns. Although a Democrat, Kennedy has received praise from Republicans for his view on certain issues. 

At the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Kennedy spoke to a crowd about his support of the New Hampshire primary and bipartisan advocacy. Kennedy began his speech by promoting New Hampshire’s effort to remain the “first in the nation primary” for the Democrats. “It’s just wrong to take it away from New Hampshire. For 200 years the primary has been healthy in this state. It’s very bad optics for our country,” Kennedy said to an applause from the crowd. This comes after the Democratic National Committee’s recent acceptance of a proposal to replace New Hampshire as the first primary with South Carolina, a state that saved President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. New Hampshire holds a state law that requires them to be the nation’s first primary.

Kennedy is not a traditional Democrat when it comes to environmental issues. “I knew I wanted to be an attorney. I also knew I didn’t want to work with some conventional environmental group, which are basically just bubble Democrats,” he said. He cited his over 300 lawsuits won against Hudson River polluters as one of his major accomplishments, claiming that they had to pay over $3 billion in remediating the Hudson. Kennedy believes that politicians in the federal government today are not taking the necessary steps to seriously address the climate crisis because their efforts are not global. He claimed that China, India, and Brazil are the leaders in pollution that creates the climate crisis, and that not coming up with global solutions is not enough to properly address the issue. 

Kennedy also touched on his skepticism of vaccines–particularly the COVID vaccines and boosters–and the effectiveness of government-issued lockdowns. He claimed that vaccines could be a cause for an uptick in many deficiencies in pediatric food allergies and that they could potentially cause autism in infants, both of which he was not able to support with evidence. “Since 2004, the number of kids with chronic disease has doubled to 64%. What do I mean by chronic disease? I mean ATD, ADHD, speech delay, Rett syndrome, narcolepsy, autism.” Despite these claims, the CDC and FDA have adamantly stated that no vaccines have been correlated to chronic disease in children or adults. 

At the end of the event, while taking questions from the audience, Kennedy was put on the spot to answer about a potential presidential run. Much to the delight of the audience, he did not shoot the idea down. “I’m thinking about it, and I’ve passed the biggest hurdle, which is my wife has green lighted it,” he said. Kennedy, a Democrat, would be an interesting challenge to incumbent Joe Biden. He has received support from Republicans for his stance on vaccines and COVID regulations. While President Biden’s political future remains unknown, it is his nomination to lose. The only Democrat to officially announce a campaign is Marianne Williamson, who ran in 2020 as a “spiritual leader.” Kennedy could receive Democratic support in a state like New Hampshire, where only 32% of Democrats say that they want to see Biden run for reelection. It is well noted in presidential politics that the New Hampshire Institute of Politics is a must-visit stop for any candidate, and Kennedy has checked that off his list.