Robert F Kennedy Jr announces independent 2024 presidential bid

Siblings of John F Kennedy's nephew condemn the move and say his candidacy is perilous for the US

Robert F Kennedy, the nephew of former president John F Kennedy. Bloomberg
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Anti-vaccine activist Robert F Kennedy announced on Monday that he will run for president as an independent, dropping his long-shot bid to secure the Democratic nomination.

“I’ve come here today to declare our independence from the tyranny of corruption, which robs us of affordable lives, our belief in the future and our respect for each other,” Mr Kennedy said in Philadelphia.

“But to do that I must first declare my own independence. Independence from the Democratic Party and from all other political parties.”

Mr Kennedy said that his supporters often found themselves on opposites sides of issues including the climate crisis, abortion and gun control.

“Independence is more than being independent of two existing parties. It's also independence from tribal thinking,” he said.

Some Democrats and Republicans also fear that the nephew of former president John F Kennedy could steal votes from Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

“The truth is, they’re both right,” Mr Kennedy said.

Mr Kennedy has long been vocal about his anti-vaccine beliefs. Public health experts and members of his family have discredited his work.

His siblings – Kerry Kennedy, Rory Kennedy and Joe Kennedy II – called Monday's announcement “deeply saddening”.

"The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third-party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country,” they said in a joint statement.

“We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for country”.

Updated: October 09, 2023, 7:37 PM