Robert F Kennedy's family 'appalled' after Super Bowl ad

By John Mercury February 15, 2024

Robert F Kennedy Jr has apologised to his family over a Super Bowl advertisement, made in support of his presidential bid, that closely resembled one broadcast by his uncle, President John F Kennedy, in 1960.

The 30-second advert, which cost an estimated $7m (£5.5m), featured a shortened version of the Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy For Me jingle from the successful 1960 White House run against Richard Nixon.

Old-fashioned pictures of Mr Kennedy also appeared to be inserted into the original advert.

Mr Kennedy, 70, is an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist. He is running as an independent in the 2024 campaign.

He is the son of former US attorney general Robert F Kennedy, who was assassinated while running for president in 1968, five years after the assassination of his brother JFK.

The advertisement was met with criticism from both the wider Kennedy family and other political figures.

He apologised on social media “if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain”, but distanced himself from it.

He said the advert was created by American Values 2024 – a pro-Kennedy political action committee (PAC) – “without any involvement or approval” from his campaign.

But the advert remains the top pinned post on Mr Kennedy’s page on X.

Bobby Shriver, whose mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver was JFK’s sister, said: “My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces – and my mother’s,” Mr Shriver wrote.

“She would be appalled by his deadly healthcare views. Respect for science, vaccines and healthcare equity were in her DNA.”

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In response, RFK Jr posted separately: “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.”

Bob Shrum, a speechwriter for another of Mr Kennedy’s late uncles, former US senator Ted Kennedy, said: “This RFK Jr Super ad is a straight out plagiarism.”

Super PACs are organisations that are allowed to raise and spend an unlimited amount of money for political candidates, but are banned from coordinating with campaigns.

Just two days before the advert aired, the Democratic National Committee filed a Federal Election Commission complaint, accusing the American Values PAC of colluding with Mr Kennedy’s campaign.

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It has denied any wrongdoing.

American Values received $15m from Tim Mellon, who is also a donor to Donald Trump.

Mr Kennedy significantly trails Joe Biden and Mr Trump, the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, in polls.


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