One day after siblings Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend denounced his independent 2024 presidential run as one that’s “dangerous to our country,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sat with “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning and admitted that it “was very painful” and “leaving the party of my family is very, very difficult.”
“It was very painful for me. I was raised in the Democratic Party, my father, my uncles were the leaders of the party. You know, our relationship with the Democratic Party goes back generations,” Kennedy Jr. told hosts Brian Kilmeade, Kayleigh McEnany and Steve Doocy. “Leaving the party of my family is very, very difficult for me, but it was a choice that I didn’t feel that I had a choice about.”
The politician, who announced his intent to run on the 2024 ballot as an independent after launching his presidential campaign as a Democrat against President Joe Biden in April, then detailed factors such as overreaching power from corporate donors as influencing his decision to go independent.
“It’s the same corporate donors that control both of the parties. And the parties are in paralysis. They cannot, within that party system, they’re locked in this war with each other,” he said. “The polarization, the name-calling, they’re polarizing the American public. And we need a strategy for unity and we need a strategy for bringing people together.”
He then emphasized that in his time “traveling the country,” he’s found “that there’s much more, even among the most extreme Democrats and Republicans, there’s still more that we have in common than the issues that are being used to drive us apart.”
He also maintained that he’s “very much aligned with those things” that famously defined the politics of his father, Robert Kennedy Jr., and uncles, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Ted Kennedy.
When asked whether or not he’s concerned about pulling votes away from the Democratic incumbent Biden, Kennedy quipped that he hopes “to take votes from both President Biden and President Trump.”
As far as his thoughts on his siblings’ scathing statement to his campaign on Monday — in which they wrote, “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment. Today’s announcement is deeply saddening for us” — Kennedy said, simply, “I love my family. Every family has disputes.”
“I’ve got a lot of family members who are supporting me,” he said. “There’s a lot of members of my family who are working for the Biden administration and, you know, they have their own options about issues.”
Watch Kennedy’s full “Fox & Friends” interview in the video above.