New York: The independent campaign of RFK Jr. and the American Values 2024 Super PAC supporting him have been embroiled in two nearly simultaneous controversies. One involves the lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which recently accused candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of violating federal election law by illegally coordinating with the American Values 2024 Super PAC. The other controversy stems from the commercial produced by the Super PAC that aired during the Super Bowl, prompting a public apology from Kennedy to his family.
However, on the first issue, credit is due to the American Values 2024 Super PAC, a group I was a part of but dissociated from weeks ago through my resignation, about which I will not comment further in this article. The American Values 2024 Super PAC produced a successful commercial for which it paid seven million dollars. The ad aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 11, reaching an audience of 202 million viewers, according to CNN and Variety. This represents the highest viewership ever recorded for this event. Based on this, no one can deny the Super PAC’s success with this political chess move.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 12, 2024
(Indeed, the success of the commercial was attempted to be overshadowed, in my opinion, without good results, by the reaction of some members of the Kennedy lineage who protested because the commercial drew direct parallels between the independent candidate and his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy. Additionally, it used the same template as JFK’s 1960s ad and the faces of President Kennedy and his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
This prompted a backlash from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s nephew, Bobby Shriver, the son of the former president’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who said his mother would be “horrified” by RFK Jr.’s views on healthcare. “My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle and mother’s faces. She would be horrified by his deadly healthcare views. Respect for science, vaccines, and healthcare equity was in her DNA,” Shriver said in a post about RFK Jr.’s stance. “She strongly supported my healthcare work at @ONECampaign and @RED, which he opposes,” Bobby Shriver added. Mark Shriver, another nephew of Kennedy, also agreed with him in a social media post.
This prompted an immediate public apology from the independent candidate to his family. “I’m sorry if the Super Bowl ad caused pain to anyone in my family,” wrote RFK Jr. on his X account on the same Sunday the ad aired, before adding, “The ad was created and aired by American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.”
However, despite all the uproar caused by the ad’s airing, as of the writing of this article on Tuesday, February 13, it remains at the top of Kennedy’s and American Values 2024 Super PAC’s profiles. This indicates that neither Kennedy, his campaign, nor the Super PAC are genuinely repentant for producing and airing the commercial and are not giving up the media success it has generated, despite the family pain.)
American Values 2024 Super PAC and RFK Jr. are in collision with the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
On February 9, The Washington Post highlighted a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) accusing candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of violating federal election law by illegally coordinating with the American Values 2024 Super PAC and its $15 million effort to collect signatures for ballot access in seven states. Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Texas. Remember the names of these seven states and American Values 2024 Super PAC because they will be the trigger for political events that unleash the fury of the Washington DC establishment and trigger destabilization processes within the American political spectrum in the coming months. Stay tuned because it’s not a question of whether it will happen but when.
According to lawyers for the Democratic National Committee in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), to qualify for the ballot under state law, American Values 2024 must coordinate its activity with Candidate Kennedy and his campaign in a manner that does not violate federal campaign finance laws. In a call with journalists on Friday, DNC legal counsel Bob Lenhard argued that “state law presumes and, in some cases, requires the committee or candidate” to be involved in the petition process, making the super PAC’s spending an illegal in-kind donation.
Response from American Values 2024 Super PAC
American Values 2024 Super PAC co-founder Tony Lyons addressed the lawsuit. They argued that super PACs, unlike campaigns, can raise unlimited amounts of money from campaigns and corporations but are not allowed to coordinate most expenses with campaigns. “The DNC wants to deny millions of people their basic constitutional voting rights in a relentless attack on democracy. The FEC complaint is just another desperate tactic by the DNC to smear Kennedy, vilify him, and deplete his campaign funds,” argued Tony Lyons.
“The powerful DC panic agents are working overtime to keep Kennedy out of the elections because they know he can and will end their culture of greed and corruption. They offer us skyrocketing inflation, endless wars, and chronic illnesses. RFK Jr. offers us real change, freedom, trust, and hope. Like his uncle and father, Kennedy is a fighter against corruption, and it’s no wonder the Democratic National Committee is trying every old trick and inventing new ones to stop him. The public sees it all and won’t tolerate it,” said Lyons in a statement published in The Hill and other media outlets.