Speculation that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will soon declare his run as an independent escalated further on Sept. 29 when he released a video announcing an event in Philadelphia on Oct. 9 when he will share “our path to the White House.”
“I’m going to be in Philadelphia on October 9, to make a major announcement at the very birthplace of our nation. I’m not going to tell you right now, exactly what that announcement will be. I can say, though, that if you’ve been waiting to come to one of my public events, this will be the one to come to,” Mr. Kennedy said in the video that appears on his campaign website.
“I’ll be speaking about a sea change in American politics and what your part and my party is in that change,” he added.
“A lot of Americans who had previously given up any hope and real change come through the American electoral process have begun to find new hope in my candidacy.”
Later in the video, Mr. Kennedy noted, “Our government may be broken, but our people are kind, brave, and caring that goodness is stronger than the divisions that are keeping us all apart. I see it every day on the campaign trail, and the more I see it, the more I trust it. And the more I trust that, the more the path to victory becomes visible.”
Mr. Kennedy’s campaign is planning attack ads against the Democratic National Committee to “pave the way” for what will be an announcement on Oct. 9 that he will run as an independent, Mediaite reported on Sept. 29, citing a text from a campaign insider.
Anthony Lyons is co-chairman of the American Values 2024 PAC, which is working to get Mr. Kennedy elected president. He told The Epoch Times on Sept. 29 that a poll they commissioned with Zogby International will be released on Oct. 2 and shows that if Mr. Kennedy runs as an independent or third-party candidate in a race against President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, he will start at 19 percent compared to “37 percent to 38 percent” for President Biden and President Trump.
The results indicate that Mr. Kennedy is “pulling equally from Biden and Trump,” Mr. Lyons told The Epoch Times.
“Critics of independents and third-party candidates always claim that they split the vote and serve as a spoiler, but what we are seeing is that people are disillusioned with both major parties and they are tired of partisan politics,” Mr. Lyons said.
“People are tired of being told what to do, what to think, and who to vote for by the Democrat and Republican parties, and they are open to an alternative candidate.”
For months after announcing his candidacy in April to challenge President Biden for the 2024 Democrat nomination, Mr. Kennedy told media outlets and supporters, “I’m a Democrat” when asked if he would consider running as an independent or third-party candidate.
During an interview with The Epoch Times in Columbia, South Carolina, in August, he reiterated that stance when asked if he would serve as President Trump’s running mate or run as an independent or a third-party candidate.
“I’m a Democrat. The Democrat party has lost its way, and I want to return it to its traditional ideals,” Mr. Kennedy said.
“I’m hoping to run in the Democratic Party. If it’s possible to have a fair election in the Democratic Party, I will run in the Democratic Party, and I haven’t made any kind of plans other than that,” he said.
Yet Mr. Kennedy has faced what he deems as multiple roadblocks to “fair primary elections” from the DNC. Earlier this year, the organization voted to give President Biden its full support. At the same meeting, the DNC voted to replace New Hampshire with South Carolina as the first-in-the-nation primary state. The organization has warned that New Hampshire will face potential penalties if that state’s Democrat primary does not comply with new primary calendar plans.
At a town hall in New Hampshire earlier in September, Mr. Kennedy told supporters that he would have to make a decision before Oct. 15 to run as an independent and that it would require around $15 million in funds to get on the ballot in all 50 states.
Under the proposed plan, New Hampshire must hold its primary on the same day as Nevada on Feb. 6 or face possible sanctions.
South Carolina will conduct its primary on Feb. 3.
Georgia and Michigan would follow, according to the new schedule.
Iowa, which holds caucuses, was removed from the list of early-voting states.