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‘I Feel Sorry for You Guys Having to Listen to Me’: RFK Jr. Explains Why His Voice Is So Raspy

Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. explained the reason behind his trademark raspy voice during a town hall event with voters on Wednesday night.

Kennedy told the audience of NewsNation’s town hall in Chicago that he suffers from a neurological condition called spasmodic dysphonia.

To open the evening, host Elizabeth Vargas stated, “Your voice is raspy. Why don’t you explain to our audience why?”

Kennedy was open about the degeneration of his vocal cords, which he said started in the mid-1990s.

“I had a very, very strong voice until I was 46 years old,” he said. “It was unusually strong. Even at that time, I was making a lot of my income doing public speaking and I could speak to large halls without any amplification.”

But the candidate said his voice deteriorated rapidly.

“In 1996, when I was 42 years old, I got struck with a disease — a neurological disease, an injury — called spasmodic dysphonia. And it makes my voice tremble,” the now-69-year-old said.

Kennedy said at first “I didn’t know what was wrong.”

He recalled how he was sent letters from people who had heard him speak informing him that he had spasmodic dysphonia.

A consultation with a doctor who was famous for treating the condition eventually confirmed the diagnosis.

“I think it makes it [problematic] for people to listen to me. I cannot listen to myself on TV. I will never listen to this broadcast,” Kennedy said.

He added, “So I feel sorry for you guys having to listen to me.”

Kennedy further explained that the condition was actually worse until a recent surgical procedure he underwent in Japan.

“It made my voice much better, which you probably won’t believe. But it was much worse than this before,” Kennedy told NewsNation’s audience.

Johns Hopkins says spasmodic dysphonia “causes involuntary spasms in the muscles of the voice box or larynx. This causes the voice to break and have a tight, strained or strangled sound.”

In spite of the issues with his voice, Kennedy’s message is resonating with Democrats — most of whom don’t want President Joe Biden to run for re-election in 2024.

According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Kennedy is currently polling at around 15 percent in the Democratic primary.

  • Elizabeth Roselle says:

    Listening to someone like you who is intelligent and committed to uniting the country is so much better than listening to the Divider in Chief.

    • Will says:

      I very much agree with you. I’m a republican and I want to see Trump back as President, but I would seriously consider Kennedy over the other Republicans that are running.

      • Roy V Cook says:

        Trump=4 yrs Kennedy=8 yrs

      • Norma says:

        I think it would be awesome if President Trump asked RFK JR to be his running mate!

        • Rita says:

          Norman I don’t believe RFK Jr would consider it after Trump screwed him over. They had a deal for Trump to allow him to investigate classified document dealing with vaccines and Trump was bribed with a large amount of money and canceled the deal he had already made.

          • Penny says:

            Trump cannot be bribed!! Maybe he got a lot of pushback on RFK, Jr., but I believe you are dead wrong about him being bribed. I think Trump has learned a lot since then, and he speaks favorably about RFK, Jr. even though I hear he also pushed the Russia hoax.

          • Mick says:

            And I’m sure you have first hand knowledge of all the circumstances od this situation.

      • Penny says:

        I love RFK, Jr., but I don’t think I could vote for him because he’s pro-abortion, and he’s a bigtime believer in climate change. But he’s awesome in so many other ways!

  • Tanka says:

    Sorry people, but in my opinion, RFK is wolf in sheeps clothing.

  • Don says:

    Wow. I had wondered why he sounds that way. Sometimes he sounded like an old Katherine Hepburn. No offense, was just that noticeable.
    I believe the left is afraid of him. Who the hell else would they run? Newsome? I don’t see anyone on that side who would get 681 million votes like the hair sniffer. What a load of crap!
    I feel sorry for REAL Democrats like my niece who say the party left them, not the other way around.
    The left needs to go as does Biden’s handlers and the assholes behind the curtain.
    Look around you. See what they’ve done to our great country..

    • Susan says:

      But REAL democrats still vote for these socialist democrats I don’t understand that.

      • W. Hamil says:

        So many liberals have been completely brainwashed and indoctrinated by the Democrat Party, liberal lamestream media, and our public schools and universities.

        Liberals are ignorant sheep who believe whatever they’re told from the lying lamestream media and simply follow along with the Dem herd because they’re too blind and/or immoral to be receptive to hearing and accepting the TRUTH.

        IMO too many liberal ideologies are blatantly immoral which means those who vote Democrat are immoral too. Liberals probably dislike the ugly fact that how a person votes reveals who THEY are too, and they’d prefer to live in total denial of their own lack of morals.

        Dems policies are evil = Dem voters are evil. It’s very sad that half of this country’s voters have no moral compass.

  • Richard Mundy says:

    I know firsthand what spasmodic dysphonia my wife has had this problem for many years she had to stop teaching school in California and retired, she takes Botox shots to the larynx every so often it helps quite a bit but unfortunately, it will never end so far there’s no cure for this medical issue.

  • John Grychak says:


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