Democratic challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will face voters tonight during a live town hall on NewsNation at 9pmET on affiliated broadcast television stations (due to be replay open on that site later in the evening).
Having flexed his muscles during the week, now is his turn to flex his policy mind - something he has been doing on various podcasts (mostly more right-leaning since the establishment left has done their best to discredit Kennedy at every stop).
He will take questions in front of a live audience comprised of voters in partnership with the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. Voters in the key states of South Carolina and New Hampshire can also question the candidate.
Kennedy’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination has garnered support from as many as 20% of Democrats, but Republicans viewed him more favorably at 40%, according to recent reports.
Polling this month from Quinnipiac University found that among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, 70% support Biden, 17% support Kennedy, and 8% support Marianne Williamson.
“This is a moment where RFK Jr., who first got a lot of attention for having a famous name, and then got a lot of attention for some pretty wild positions that he has taken on a number of issues – including vaccines, including the war in Ukraine, including the CIA – and he’s generated a lot of buzz. This is the moment where he is going to face, what I would submit, is probably the toughest test of his candidacy so far, which is answering real voter’s real, practical questions about his candidacy and doing it in front of a national television audience,” NewsNation Political Editor Chris Stirewalt told KOIN 6 News.
As Peter Barry Chowka notes, Kennedy has been attacked and largely shunned by the mainstream media but in at least a half dozen live interviews on FOX News, including the one with Tucker Carlson, he has expressed a message that suggests he could potentially draw support from across the political spectrum.
Kennedy, who declared his candidacy in April, is one of two Democrats (the other is self-help author Marianne Williamson) to challenge President Joe Biden for their party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
His comments, including describing the aim of his campaign as “end[ing] the corrupt merger of state and corporate power,” might resonate with a variety of constituencies.
Why is RFK Jr on NewsNation and not on a left-leaning mainstream media outlet?
Simple - here's 'fake-dossier-peddling' Jake Tapper explaining that Kennedy should not have a platform its because of his “dangerous ideas”.
Here's one colleague's (unedited) take (that we thought worth sharing) on Tapper's (and likely all of mainstream media's) attitude and self-immolation:
"If RFK’s ideas are dangerous a real journalist would be able to draw attention to what RFK has wrong. Jake Tapper just admitted he isn’t a journalist, and CNN does NOT disseminate objective information.
The real threat to democracy is Jake Tapper failing to do his basic job. Tappers job isn’t to preemptively draw conclusions about presidential candidates.
I don’t give a fuck what Tapper thinks, his job is objective arbitrator. If he wants to work on behalf of the “re-elect” Biden campaign he should have to declare that and we can stop pretending CNN does “news”."
I think NewsNation is very smart to feature RFK, Jr. as it tries to establish itself as a full-fledged rival to CNNMSNBCFOXNEWSMAX.
RFK, Jr. already has a fan base that will want to tune in and see him, and I suspect most have never watched NewsNation.
They may like what they see and come back now that they have searched for and found it on their cable/satellite/streaming feed.
NewsNation is trying to establish itself in the middle of the political spectrum, accessible to both sides. Featuring RFK, Jr. is a good way to highlight that orientation.
Kennedy is also catching up to Newsom in the betting markets...
Where Kennedy stands on key issues...
Kennedy pushes back against critics that say he has anti-vaccine views.
During a June 23 town hall hosted by WMUR-TV, Kennedy said if he were president, he would mandate pre-licensing safety trials for vaccines and “allow parents to make of their minds about whether they want to use vaccines for their children.”
“What I’ve said is I’m pro-science and pro-safety and we ought to subject vaccines…to at least the kind of rigorous placebo-controlled trials that are mandated for every other medicine,” Kennedy told WMUR.
Vaccines are tested extensively by manufacturers before the FDA issues a license.
A vaccine being developed for distribution in the United States goes through two separate research phases before an initial three phases of clinical trials, according to the Food And Drug Administration. Those trials test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. By the time it reaches the third phase of initial clinical trials, the vaccine is generally given to thousands of people, and researchers compare those who received the vaccine against those who received a placebo.
In some cases, the FDA requires additional post-market studies or clinical trials for continued research.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says immunization is the best protection against certain illnesses. Annually, tens of thousands of people get sick from diseased that could be prevented by vaccines.
Kennedy has made peace a priority when it comes to foreign policy, promising to “end the proxy wars, bombing campaigns, covert operations, coups, paramilitaries, and everything else that has become so normal most people don’t know what’s happening.”
He’s specifically vowed to end the war in Ukraine. His plan to stop the fighting includes offering to withdraw U.S. troops and missiles from Russia’s borders and convince Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
“UN peacekeepers will guarantee peace to the Russian-speaking eastern regions,” Kennedy said on his campaign website. “We will put an end to this war.”
Kennedy visited the nation’s southern border earlier this month, calling it a “dystopian nightmare.”
The presidential candidate described seeing hundreds of people cross the border – a seemingly “hopeless” situation he said was “created by the federal government, that local people are being forced to hold the bag on.”
“It’s extraordinary,” Kennedy told NewsNation. “It’s kind of the best part of America and the worst part at the same time.”
During WMUR’s town hall, Kennedy said he’s “not a big fan of Trump” or his border wall. After speaking with officers patrolling the border, however, he said physical barriers are necessary in some areas with high-density populations and advocated doing more to keep migrants and U.S. citizens safe from cartels.
Kennedy has said he will enact policies that favor “small and medium businesses” and break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and monopolies.
“When crisis strikes, bail out the homeowners, debtors, and small business owners instead,” Kennedy said on his campaign site.
He also believes healthcare is a key economic issue, and has vowed to make existing services available to all, including “alternative and holistic therapies that have been marginalized in a pharma-dominated system.”
One wonders just how long MSM can continue ignoring RFK Jr?