By Jarrett Renshaw
(Reuters) – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running for president as an independent candidate, apologized to members of his family for a surprise Super Bowl ad that heavily featured his connection to his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy.
“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 bless you,” Kennedy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. The FEC is the Federal Election Commission.
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist, launched his campaign for the White House last year as a Democrat but switched to an independent bid in the fall. His siblings criticized the presidential run, saying he shares the same name of their father, but not the values.
American Values 2024 ran a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday that heavily relied on imagery from John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.
Kennedy’s cousin, Bobby Shriver, had criticized the ad in a post Sunday on X.
“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,” Shriver wrote.
Kennedy is significantly trailing in a hypothetical three-way race with President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and his likely Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, according to a December Reuters/Ipsos poll. The same poll showed Kennedy drawing more support from potential Biden voters than from Trump’s.
(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Jonathan Oatis)