RFK Jr at odds with VP pick as she teases donation to anti-abortion lawmaker

RFK Jr announced Nicole Shanahan as his running mate in March, calling her ‘exactly the right person’ for the job

Katie Hawkinson
Friday 10 May 2024 19:14 BST
Related video: Stephen Colbert isn’t surprised by RFK Jr’s bizarre worm revelation

Independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr appears to be at odds with his running mate when it comes to abortion rights after she teased a big donation to a staunch anti-abortion lawmaker.

RFK Jr’s vice-presidential pick Nicole Shanahan said in a post on X on Thursday that far-right Republican Representative Thomas Massie – who is one of the most conservative members of the GOP – is at the top of her “big donations” list.

This comes as a surprising move after RFK Jr told NBC News the same day that he believes the government should not dictate abortion policy and that reproductive rights should be decided by individual women.

“I think we have to leave it to the women rather than the state,” RFK Jr told the outlet when asked if he endorse allowing full-term abortions.

By contrast, Ms Shanahan has previously said that she rejects “anyone” having control over women’s bodies while maintaining she does not “feel right” about terminating a pregnancy if both the mother and baby are healthy.

In that same statement however, Ms Shanahan said that there are a “number of extenuating circumstances” that would lead her to consider an abortion.

RFK Jr first announced his running mate in March, calling her “exactly the right person” for the job.

“I wanted a vice president who shared my passion for wholesome healthy foods, chemical-free, for regenerative agriculture, for good soils,” RFK Jr said at the time.

But, those in the political sphere expected that there might have been a different reason RFK Jr picked her.

In March, Democratic strategist Lis Smith wrote on X that “Nicole Shanahan’s primary qualification seems to be her ability to give $$ to @RobertKennedyJr‘s broke campaign. After everyone else- Aaron Rodgers, Tony Robbins, Tulsi Gabbard, etc.- said no, RFK Jr. sold the VP slot to the highest bidder”.

Now, it appears her money could go towards a far-right congressman who has publicly denounced abortion and said he believes life begins at conception.

Nicole Shanahan (left) and Robert F Kennedy Jr (right) appear on stage together in March
Nicole Shanahan (left) and Robert F Kennedy Jr (right) appear on stage together in March (Getty Images)

Mr Massie has received an “A” rating from Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America, an anti-abortion advocacy group, for rejecting the “ever-growing pro-abortion agenda of the Biden-Harris administration”.

The Republican lawmaker also made national headlines recently after joining Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene in her failed attempt to oust Speaker Mike Johnson – a move that was rejected overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives, with only 11 GOP members voting in favour of his removal.

The potential tensions within the Kennedy-Shanahan campaign come after it emerged this week that a parasitic worm previously ate part of RFK Jr’s brain and died inside his head.

After the incident came to light, RFK Jr issued a statement claiming he could “eat 5 more brain worms” and still win a debate against his 2024 rivals President Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The Independent has contacted RFK Jr ’s campaign for comment.

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