There are plenty of things that political-nepo-baby-turned-anti-vaxxer-presidential-candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. doesn’t know. How to correctly do a push-up. The average cost of a gallon of milk (probably). How Prozac works. When to just shut up.
But none of that really matters to Republicans who seem happy to use his conspiracy-fueled campaign to hurt Joe Biden’s bid for a second term in office. In fact, RFK, Jr.’s strategy of tanking his party’s White House hopes by regurgitating baseless vaccine misinformation and faux outrage over COVID-19 mandates is so popular amongst the GOP that even Donald Trump is a fan.
In a New York Times report charting RFK, Jr.’s presidential bid, plenty of right-wing supporters championed the man who hails from a political dynasty that should represent everything they hate about the D.C. swamp. RFK, Jr. is a one-percenter, a coastal elite whose fathers, aunts, and uncles helped shape Democratic ideals Republicans seem to abhor like Civil Rights. But as soon as he word vomits fascist buzzwords like “censorship,” “mainstream media” and “government conspiracy,” RFK, Jr. transforms into a political puppet for the MAGA cult. And Trump sounds like he’s more than happy to use his tiny hands to pull the guy’s strings.
During an appearance on The Howie Carr Show Monday, Trump gave RFK, Jr. some encouragement.
“Just hang in,” he said. “He’s been very nice to me, I’ve actually had a very nice relationship with him over the years. He’s a very smart guy and a good guy.”
Trump went on to basically campaign for RFK, Jr., who he considered for a role in his White House as a vaccine czar before the pandemic hit. “He’s a common sense guy and so am I,” Trump said. “So, whether you’re conservative or liberal, common sense is common sense. A lot of what I run on is common sense. He’s doing really well, I saw a poll, he’s at 22. That’s pretty good! That’s pretty good, doing very well.”
And in case you were doubting that this might be an effective strategy…
Roger Stone, a longtime GOP operative whom Trump pardoned after being convicted in 2019 of obstructing a congressional investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, remarked on a podcast in April of this year that “incumbent presidents who run for re-election but who are challenged in the primaries by a significant challenger, even though they survive, in almost every case, they are defeated.” Stone cited what happened to Jimmy Carter when Ted Kennedy challenged him for the 1980 nomination.
(Via The NYT)