Steve Bannon has reiterated his preference for a Trump/Kennedy ticket for the 2024 presidential run, suggesting that the combination would produce a “massive landslide” win, even as the possibility remains almost nil.
The former White House chief strategist expects a “firestorm of the lawfare will start next spring” for the former president, Mr. Bannon said during a Sunday episode of the podcast “Bannon’s War Room,” referring to the mounting legal issues which Mr. Trump faces at the moment.
If Trump can “walk through that fire,” he can get “55 percent or more of the country.”
And then, “if somehow it worked out [that] you could get Kennedy as a running mate - and I don’t know, that is far from even technically can happen because of the structure of the Democratic and Republican parties and ballot access and all that - you could get 60 percent or higher in the country and win a massive landslide.”
Steve Bannon talked about Trump and RFK Jr. being on the same ticket:— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 31, 2023
“I think if somehow it worked out that you could get Kennedy as a running mate …you could get 60 percent or higher in the country.” pic.twitter.com/vllluxntit
Mr. Bannon had earlier suggested a Trump/Kennedy ticket in April.
During one of the podcasts, Mr. Bannon said that former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was his top choice for Mr. Trump’s vice president. However, if she were not available, “Kennedy would be an excellent choice.”
Ms. Lake carries a high opinion of RFK Jr. In July, she criticized people who called Mr. Kennedy a “MAGA Democrat,” pointing out that “they just don't want outsiders in the political machine, they don't want outsiders coming into the swamp, draining the swamp.”
“They just want just the pre-approved, controllably, easily blackmailed, and easily bribed people like Biden and the whole swamp system down there.”
In addition to Mr. Bannon, many other conservatives are open to the idea of a Trump/Kennedy challenge for the 2024 election.
In an April 29 social media post, former national security advisor Michael Flynn said that he was “really starting to like this presidential candidate’s attitude,” referring to Kennedy.
Conservative talk show host Steve Deace said in an April 6 post to social media that “as long as he doesn’t go trans, a man with high character and courage like RFK Jr. will be tempting.”
GOP operative Roger Stone has also extended support for a Trump/Kennedy challenge.
Despite the support, Mr. Kennedy has dismissed the possibility of teaming up with Mr. Trump.
“Just to quell any speculation, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will I join Donald Trump on an electoral ticket. Our positions on certain fundamental issues, our approaches to governance, and our philosophies of leadership could not be further apart,” Mr. Kennedy said in a May 10 post on social media.
Trump/Kennedy Similarities, DeSantis’s View
Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Kennedy share numerous similarities. For one, they have both been targeted by the mainstream media.
In an interview with Fox in late July, Mr. Kennedy said that he has been “really slammed in a way that I think is unprecedented, even more than President Trump was slammed by the mainstream, by the corporate media.”
In May, The Washington Post ran an opinion piece with the headline: “His name is Kennedy. His campaign is pure Trump.”
“Like Trump, Kennedy is given to skillful demagoguery, casually misleading with the conviction of a truth-teller … What makes Kennedy most like Trump, though, is the overlay of conspiracy and contempt that tinges nearly everything he says, the destructive distrust in the electorate he seeks to channel,” the article said about Mr. Kennedy.
Mr. Trump has long been a victim of censorship, with the most famous example being (formerly) Twitter censoring his social media posts and canceling his account. Mr. Kennedy has been met with similar censorship attempts.
Prior to a July 20 hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, Democrats circulated a letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), asking that Mr. Kennedy be de-platformed from a scheduled testimony.
Mr. Jordan and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dismissed such censorship attempts. “The hearing that we have this week is about censorship,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters at the time when asked about the letter. “I don’t think censoring somebody is actually the answer here.”
Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a GOP presidential candidate, also has a favorable view of Mr. Kennedy, suggesting that he would consider the Democrat for a health position in his administration if he wins the 2024 race.
However, Mr. DeSantis dismissed Mr. Kennedy as a choice for vice president, citing the Democrat’s opposition to the U.S. Supreme court's strike-down of affirmative-action policies at American universities and his pro-climate change activities.
Popularity and Poll Rankings
Mr. Kennedy enjoys a great deal of appeal among the American public.
“A new Harvard-Harris poll puts my favorability rating at 47 percent—higher than Trump (45 percent), DeSantis (40 percent), Biden (39 percent), and every public figure in the poll,” Mr. Kennedy said in a July 23 post on social media.
“And do you know what’s even more remarkable? My unfavorability rating was the lowest among all candidates, at only 26 percent. That shows that the relentless media attacks just aren’t working. People don’t believe the media anymore—with good reason.”
In polls, Mr. Biden has a massive lead over Mr. Kennedy. An average of multiple poll results showed Mr. Biden having more than 64 percent support in the Democratic primary polls, far ahead of Mr. Kennedy’s 15 percent.
Mr. Biden also has more financial backing for the elections. According to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Mr. Biden raised close to $20 million in the first half of the year, triple the $6.36 million raised by Mr. Kennedy.
Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Kennedy have expressed high regard for each other. In an interview with Newsmax in June, Mr. Trump said he was impressed with how Mr. Kennedy has boosted his popularity in polls.
“I respect him—a lot of people respect him. He’s got some very important points to be made,” the former president said, referring to Mr. Kennedy.
During a town hall hosted by News Nations in late June, Mr. Kennedy said he was “proud that President Trump likes me, even though I don't agree with him on most of his issues.”