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RFK Jr claims Trump did reach out to him to be his running mate

Independent presidential candidate says he was ‘flattered’ but not interested in playing second fiddle on Trump ticket

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 30 January 2024 20:40 GMT
Watch moment Robert F Kennedy Jr launches presidential bid

Robert F Kennedy Jr has claimed he was approached by Donald Trump’s team about being his 2024 running mate despite firm denials from the former president’s campaign.

A report in the New York Post over the weekend stated that the Trump team had tapped Mr Kennedy in April 2023 to be on the presidential ticket, and that despite the approach going nowhere “anything” was still possible, citing anonymous sources.

Mr Kennedy confirmed the overture had occurred in a NewsNation interview but said he was not interested in serving as Mr Trump’s vice president.

“I would not take that job. And I’m flattered that President Trump would offer it to me, but it’s not something that I’m interested in,” he told NewsNation.

Mr Kennedy’s campaign team have not responded to multiple requests for comment by The Independent.

The New York Post report earlier drew a firm denial from senior Trump adviser Chris LaCivita.

“No one from the Trump Campaign ever approached RFK Jr (or ever will) – one of the most liberal and radical environmentalists in the country,” Mr LaCivita wrote in a post on X.

Robert F Kennedy Jr says the Trump campaign did tap him for the ticket (EPA)

Mr Kennedy initially ran in the Democratic primary against Joe Biden before declaring he would run as an independent in October 2023.

He has since signalled he would be open to running as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.

Despite only securing ballot access in two states, Mr Kennedy has touted his strong polling in three-way match-ups against the two likely candidates in the 2024 presidential race.

A recent Economist/YouGov Poll found he was among the best-liked national political figures, with 45 per cent of Americans having a very or somewhat favourable opinion of him, compared to 34 per cent with an unfavourable opinion.

However, the poll found Mr Kennedy’s popularity did not translate into votes, with just one percent of likely voters saying they would cast a ballot for him.

Mr Kennedy has trafficked in conspiracy theories about vaccines, the Covid-19 pandemic, school shootings, 9/11, and claimed he is being censored by Big Tech and the federal government.

While being highly critical of the Biden administration’s policies, Mr Kennedy has largely avoided criticising Mr Trump in speeches and press statements.

He told NewsNation he had changed his mind on Mr Trump’s planned wall along the US-Mexico border, and now supports a “barrier in certain parts of the border”.

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