Members of the Kennedy family are speaking out against a Super Bowl ad promoting their cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign. The 30-second clip, which was purchased by the American Values Super PAC and is said to have cost $7 million, is a close copy of an iconic John F. Kennedy campaign ad from 1960, complete with the memorable "Kennedy, Kennedy" jingle. (Watch the original here.) The new ad removed photos of JFK and replaced them with pictures of his nephew, and also featured vintage imagery of the Kennedy family. One major difference? It asked voters to "vote independent" as opposed to "democratic," as RFK notably dropped his democratic bid for the presidency in October, opting instead to run as an independent candidate.
Bobby Shriver, the son of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, shared his reaction to the ad on social media last night, writing on X (formerly Twitter): "My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces- and my Mother’s. She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA. She strongly supported my health care work at @ONECampaign & @RED which he opposes." His brother Mark then reposted the message, adding: "I agree with my brother @bobbyshriver simple as that."
— Mark Shriver (@Mark_Shriver) February 12, 2024
RFK Jr. later shared an apology on X writing, "I'm so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain." He also clarified that the ad was purchased by a super pac, and not his campaign directly. "The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff," he wrote, ending with: "I love you all. God bless you."
I'm so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain. The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God…
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 12, 2024
That said, as of the writing this article, the advertisement continues to be Kennedy's pinned post on X, and is captioned: "Our momentum is growing. It’s time for an Independent President to heal the divide in our country. 🇺🇸"
This is not the first time RFK Jr.'s relatives have spoken out against his presidential campaign. After RFK Jr. announced his plans to run as an independent, four of RFK Jr.'s siblings shared a message denouncing his candidacy.
"The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country," reads a post shared by RFK Jr.'s sister Rory Kennedy last fall. "Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment. Today’s announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country." The message was signed by Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in addition to Rory.
JFK's grandson, Jack Kennedy Schlossberg, has also called his cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign an "embarrassment" and a "vanity project," saying: "I've listened to him. I know him. I have no idea why anyone thinks he should be president."
He accused RFK Jr. of "trading in on Camelot, celebrity, conspiracy theories, and conflict for personal gain and fame."
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