The former president’s “preliminary overtures” were rebuffed by Kennedy, the report says
People representing Donald Trump unsuccessfully tapped Robert F Kennedy Jr to be his vice-presidential candidate ahead of a likely run at the White House in this year’s US presidential election, a report by the New York Post has said.
Referencing comments from an unnamed source close to the former president, the outlet reported that Trump’s team had made “preliminary overtures” to Kennedy – the former Democrat candidate now campaigning as an independent ahead of the November vote – to be his running mate.
“Trump operatives expressed an interest in Kennedy early on, but it was all premature,” the NY Post said, quoting the anonymous figure with knowledge of the situation. The source added that contact was made “right out of the box when Bobby announced” his own run for the White House in April 2023.
However, the Post report notes that Kennedy rejected the supposed overtures and stated that he would not be interested in joining Trump’s bid to return to the Oval Office. Similarly, a representative for Trump dismissed the story as “fake news” and said that they would ‘never’ seek to join forces with the “radical” RFK Jr.
“This is 100% FAKE NEWS,” Chris LaCivita, a political strategist for the Trump campaign, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) early on Sunday. “NO ONE from the Trump campaign ever approached RFK Jr. (or ever will) – one of the most liberal and radical environmentalists in the country.”
However, the Trump-Kennedy tandem remains a possibility, according to the Post. “It’s very much behind the scenes at this stage,” the newspaper said, quoting a financial contributor to both Trump and Kennedy. “Bobby can bring new people to the polls.”
Kennedy, 70, is the son of former US Attorney General Robert Kennedy and nephew of former US President John F Kennedy, each of whom was assassinated during the 1960s. He has gained notoriety for being a prominent critic of vaccines, in addition to calling for an end to “proxy wars” conducted by the US – but some of his critics have dismissed many of his positions as being conspiratorial in nature.
It was revealed last summer that Kennedy’s son Conor is fighting on behalf of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Trump presently holds a formidable polling advantage over GOP rival Nikki Haley in the race to secure the Republican Party nomination to challenge presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden at the ballot box in November.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last month suggested that an RFK Jr independent run would likely draw more support from Biden voters than Trump voters, with 16% favoring Kennedy compared to 36% for Trump and 31% for Biden. Without Kennedy on the ballot, the race between Biden and Trump remains a virtual dead heat, the poll found.
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