Biden scores endorsements from Kennedy family, looking to shore up support against Trump and RFK Jr

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will accept the support of at least 15 members of the Kennedy political family during a campaign stop in Philadelphia on Thursday as he seeks to undermine former President Donald Trump and undermine the candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wants to marginalize.

Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, niece of former President John F. Kennedy and sister of the current presidential candidate, will deliver Biden’s endorsements, his campaign announced.

The decision to highlight the Kennedy family’s support more than six months after Election Day is an indication of how seriously Biden’s team is taking the threat of a waiver bid, potentially using the lingering Democratic magic of his last name to drain the president’s support.

Both Democrats and Republicans are concerned that Kennedy’s candidacy could spoil the campaigns of their respective presumptive nominees. Biden also used the event, which caps a three-day campaign swing in a battleground key to his reelection efforts, to keep up the pressure on Trump.

“I can only imagine how Donald Trump’s outrageous lies and behavior would have shocked my father, Robert F. Kennedy, who proudly served as Attorney General of the United States and kept his promise to uphold the law and protect the country,” said Kerry Kennedy. will say, according to prepared remarks. “Dad stood for equal justice, human rights and freedom from want and fear. Just like President Biden is doing today.”

The endorsement was hardly a surprise as the prominent Democratic family has expressed their political disagreement with Robert Kennedy Jr., who started out as a protest primary challenger to Biden in the Democratic party and is now running as an independent. Biden hosted more than 30 members of Kennedy’s extended family at the White House for St. Patrick’s Day last month, with family members posing with the president in the Rose Garden and Oval Office.

After the formal endorsement, Biden and members of the Kennedy family were scheduled to meet with supporters at a campaign event, and members of the Kennedy clan planned to call voters and knock on doors on Biden’s behalf.

Several notable members of the family did not support it, including U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy and nonprofit leader Maria Shriver, which the Biden campaign said was due to their non-political professional roles.

Robert Kennedy Jr. has spoken publicly in the past about disagreeing with his family on many issues, but claims this can be done in “friendly” ways. After a Super PAC in support of his campaign produced a TV ad during the Super Bowl that relied heavily on footage from John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential run, Robert Kennedy Jr. apologized. joined his relatives on the social media platform

The Democratic National Committee has separately hired a communications team to combat the appeal of third-party candidates, including Kennedy. The DNC also recently filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Kennedy’s campaign, accusing it of coordinating too closely with an affiliated Super PAC to get his name on presidential ballots in some states.

Kennedy is also being viewed warily by the Trump campaign, which fears he could also attract the Republican voters they need to defeat Biden in November. Although Trump released a recent video saying, “If I were a Democrat, I would root for RFK Jr. every time.” vote over Biden,” he has also criticized Kennedy, including by suggesting that he is “radically left” than the sitting president.

The Kennedy family’s expression of support concludes three days of campaigning in Pennsylvania.

It was a chance for Biden to reconnect with his roots, starting Tuesday in Scranton, where he lived until he was 10. He walked past his childhood home, a three-story colonial house that his family rented, and reminisced about attending Mass at St. Paul’s.

He seemed reluctant to leave town the next day and grab a coffee before heading to the airport. “It’s good to be back in Scranton,” the president said as a customer welcomed him.

Biden’s next stop was Pittsburgh, where he called for higher tariffs on steel and aluminum from China to protect U.S. industry from what he called unfair competition.

But even that event brought some nostalgia, as Biden recalled a show of support from the steelworkers when he was “a 29-year-old kid” from Delaware running for the U.S. Senate.

“It changed everything,” he said.