OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:16 PM – Monday, October 9, 2023
In an effort to resurrect his White House bid, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced on Monday that he was leaving the Democrat Party to join the Independent Party.
“I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate,” RFK Jr. told a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia. “I must declare my own independence. Independence from the Democratic Party… And from all other political parties.”
Additionally, he expressed that modern-day Democrats are not the Democrats of the past who once opposed war and governmental overreach.
RFK Jr., a lawyer and COVID-19 vaccine skeptic, has formally challenged President Biden from inside the party since spring, although he has not made much progress against the incumbent.
With just over a year until Election Day, he may use his anti-establishment outlook to circumvent both parties’ primary procedures and to take on Biden and former President Trump, who are the leading front-runners for the 2024 candidacy.
Theoretically, his change of party will bring him closer to people who are dissatisfied with both major parties, partisan politics, and those who seek an alternative to the likely Biden-Trump candidates in the November election.
“People suspect that the divisions are deliberately orchestrated,” RFK Jr. said. “They’re fed up with being fooled, and they’re ready to take back power.”
Although RFK Jr. comes from a well-known liberal family, he has since removed himself from that image, garnering far more support and financing from Independents, Libertarians, and Conservatives than from Democrats.
The Independent has frequently criticized the DNC, complaining about its choice to forgo debates while Biden was the expected nominee. He has also accused higher-ups and “controllers” of the party of “rigging” the system in the current president’s favor because they know he cannot hold his own in any real debate against opponents.
Biden consistently forgets his train of thought while he is speaking, and he is often easily distracted, most likely due to his advanced age.
Prior to the Pennsylvania event, RFK Jr.’s campaign raised the possibility of a party switch if that dissatisfaction increased, but he did not formally declare whether he would go to the Independent side.
Democrats have begun to worry that his campaign would aid Trump if he could persuade enough swing voters to support him over Biden without actually winning the election. Republicans are now asking the same question as well, out of concern that he would steal enough votes from Trump to support Biden in the general election.
RFK Jr.’s party switch comes after leftist professor Cornel West, another contender, announced last week that he is now switching parties to the Independent side as well. Even though he is ideologically to the left of RFK Jr., West has expressed similar worries about what his campaign may do to Biden’s chances if he were to face Trump.
According to several polls, RFK Jr. is receiving double-digit support this cycle, which indicates there is more interest in him than other Independent or third-party candidates.
“People like yourselves are finally fed up. Something is stirring in us that says it doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.
RFK Jr. also stated that he is refraining from “taking sides,” which has been the guiding concept of his insurgent campaign. There is a different route to winning outside of the two-party system, he claimed.
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