Former President Donald Trump recently expressed his respect for Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr., despite their political differences. During an interview with Newsmax, Trump acknowledged Kennedy’s importance and the points he raises, recognizing his growing popularity in the polls. Trump highlighted Kennedy’s unexpected rise from a position with no chance of winning to now having around 21-22 percent support. Although President Joe Biden currently leads the Democratic primary with 64 percent, Trump suggested that Biden’s mental and physical health issues could pose significant problems for his candidacy.
Biden’s health has been a concern since his 2020 campaign due to frequent falls and mumbled sentences that trail off. In contrast, Kennedy showcased his vitality by sharing a video of himself doing shirtless push-ups, jokingly preparing for debates with President Biden. Trump criticized the Democratic National Committee’s reported decision not to sponsor primary debates, suggesting that it aims to shield Biden from facing other candidates. Kennedy has spoken out against this decision, emphasizing the importance of debates in restoring faith in democracy and the electoral process.
The accusations of a rigged system within the Democratic Party are not new. Former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile and Senator Elizabeth Warren previously claimed that the 2016 Democratic primaries were rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Kennedy’s criticism of the DNC’s plan to forego debates resonates with voters who already perceive the system as rigged against them. According to a recent poll, 80 percent of Democratic primary voters, including 72 percent of Biden’s supporters, believe he should participate in debates. However, Biden’s campaign spokesperson stated that no incumbent Republican or Democrat has participated in debates.
Despite their political differences, some Trump supporters have expressed a desire to see Trump and Kennedy on the same ticket. Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Trump, mentioned Kennedy as a potential running mate, while Sebastian Gorka believed a Trump-Kennedy pairing would be a winning combination. Kennedy’s likability across the political spectrum, as demonstrated in a recent poll, could make him an appealing choice. However, Kennedy himself has firmly rejected the idea, stating that their positions, approaches to governance, and leadership philosophies are fundamentally different.
While Trump’s acknowledgement of Kennedy’s influence may surprise some conservatives, it reflects the recognition of Kennedy’s growing support and the potential impact he could have in the Democratic primary. Trump’s remarks also highlight concerns about Biden’s health and the Democratic Party’s decision to forego debates, which may be seen as an attempt to protect Biden from facing scrutiny. Despite the speculation surrounding a Trump-Kennedy ticket, Kennedy has made it clear that joining forces with Trump is not an option due to their significant ideological differences.