Robert Kennedy Jr., With Musk, Pushes Proper-Wing Concepts and Misinformation

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of many nation’s most well-known Democratic households, on Monday dived into the total embrace of a number of conservative figures who eagerly promoted his long-shot main problem to President Biden.

For greater than two hours, Mr. Kennedy participated in a web based audio chat on Twitter with the platform’s increasingly rightward-leaning chief executive, Elon Musk. They engaged in a pleasant back-and-forth with the likes of Tulsi Gabbard, the previous Democratic congresswoman turned right-wing commentator; a high donor to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida; and a professional surfer who turned a distinguished voice casting doubt on coronavirus vaccines.

Mr. Kennedy, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign in April, is himself a leading vaccine skeptic, and has promoted different conspiracy theories. But he has persistently hovered around 20 percent in polling of the Democratic main, which the get together has in any other case ceded to Mr. Biden.

On Monday, he seemed like a candidate much more relaxed within the mushrooming Republican presidential contest.

He mentioned he deliberate to journey to the Mexican border this week to “attempt to formulate insurance policies that can seal the border completely,” known as for the federal authorities to think about the battle in Ukraine from the attitude of Russians and mentioned pharmaceutical medication have been answerable for the rise of mass shootings in America.

“Previous to the introduction of Prozac, we had nearly none of those occasions in our nation and we’ve by no means seen them in human historical past, the place folks stroll right into a schoolroom of kids or strangers and begin capturing folks,” mentioned Mr. Kennedy, who famous that each his father and uncle have been killed by weapons.

Mr. Kennedy mentioned he now had “about 50 folks” working for his marketing campaign. In contrast to Marianne Williamson, the opposite introduced Democratic challenger to Mr. Biden, he doesn’t look like aiming to enchantment to Democrats who’re ideologically against the reasonable president or are in any other case uneasy with renominating him. As a substitute, he has used his marketing campaign platform — and his well-known identify — to advertise misinformation and concepts which have little traction in his get together.

Requested throughout the dialogue by David Sacks, a top DeSantis donor who can also be near Mr. Musk, “what occurred to the Democratic Social gathering,” Mr. Kennedy spent 9 uninterrupted minutes attacking Mr. Biden as a warmonger and claimed that their get together was below the management of the pharmaceutical trade.

“I believe the Democratic Social gathering turned the get together of battle,” Mr. Kennedy mentioned. “I attribute that on to President Biden.” He added, “He has at all times been in favor of very bellicose, pugnacious and aggressive overseas coverage, and he believes that violence is a respectable political instrument for attaining America’s goals overseas.”

The Democratic Nationwide Committee and Mr. Biden’s marketing campaign declined to remark about Mr. Kennedy.

The occasion, which at its peak had greater than 60,000 listeners, based on Twitter, at instances felt as if Mr. Kennedy have been interviewing Mr. Musk about his stewardship of Twitter, a platform that has lost more than half of its advertising revenue since the billionaire acquired it in October. For greater than half-hour on the occasion’s begin, the presidential candidate interrogated the tech mogul about releasing the so-called Twitter files, self-driving automobiles and synthetic intelligence.

“These are actually attention-grabbing subjects for folks, however I believe plenty of the general public want to hear about your presidential run,” Mr. Musk mentioned to Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy, 69, is a longtime amplifier and propagator of baseless theories, starting practically 20 years in the past with his skepticism about the result of the 2004 presidential election in addition to frequent childhood vaccines. His viewers for such misinformation ballooned throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, Mr. Kennedy repeated a number of false statements, amongst them:

  • He mentioned that after the Reasonably priced Care Act of 2010, “Democrats have been getting more cash from pharma than Republicans.” An analysis by STAT Information discovered that political motion committees with ties to pharmaceutical corporations gave more cash to Republicans than Democrats in 14 out of 16 election years since 1990.

  • He claimed, with out proof, that “Covid was clearly a bioweapons downside.” American intelligence businesses do not believe there is any evidence indicating that’s the case.

  • And as he blamed psychiatric drug use for the rise of gun violence in the USA, he contended that the gun possession price within the U.S. was just like that of Switzerland. The USA had the best civilian gun possession price on the earth, at an estimated 120.5 firearms per 100 folks, according the latest international Small Arms Survey. That was greater than double the speed of the second-highest nation, Yemen at 52.8, and far greater than Switzerland’s 27.6.

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