RFK Jr. Declines Libertarian Presidential Bid

Kennedy outlines foreign policy stance amid campaign challenges

by Zain ul Abedin
RFK Jr. Declines Libertarian Presidential Bid
© Mario Tama/Getty Images

In a decisive shift in his political strategy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., currently pursuing an independent presidential bid, has confirmed that he will not seek the Libertarian Party's nomination to enhance his chances of securing ballot access nationwide.

Speaking to ABC News from West Des Moines, Iowa, Kennedy expressed confidence in his campaign's ability to independently achieve ballot access across all 50 states independently, negating the need for Libertarian support.

"We're not going to have any problems getting on the ballot ourselves, so we won't be running Libertarian," Kennedy remarked during the interview. This announcement came over the weekend as Kennedy's campaign celebrated a significant milestone in Iowa.

Employing a unique approach leveraging state law, his team organized a one-day convention in West Des Moines, drawing more than 686 delegates from over 35 counties, surpassing the requirement of 500 voters from at least 25 counties.

The success of this event, still pending certification by the Iowa Secretary of State, marks a promising start to Kennedy's independent run. Kennedy also dismissed the necessity of gathering the 3,500 signatures typically required for ballot access, finding the convention method simpler and more effective.

Despite various challenges, he remains "100% confident" in replicating this strategy nationwide. "We're going to add probably two to three states a week," underscoring his campaign's ambitious schedule.

Kennedy on Global Diplomacy

The commitment to an independent run comes amid some turbulence within Kennedy's campaign, including recent scrutiny over his vice-presidential selection and his steadfastness in the race regardless of polling numbers.

Notably, a New York Times/Sienna College poll recently positioned him at just 2%—a figure Kennedy disputes, suggesting bias in the polling methodology. Addressing international concerns, Kennedy emphasized the United States' role in supporting Israel, advocating for strategic diplomacy rather than military involvement in response to recent tensions in the Middle East.

"Israel is our oldest ally in the region, and we ought to be bending over backwards to protect it," he stated, highlighting the U.S.' s commitment to its democratic partner. Amid these discussions, Kennedy's vice-presidential pick, attorney Nicole Shanahan, was notably absent from the Iowa event.

Kennedy explained that Shanahan was engaged with commitments at the southern border and with her family, but reassured supporters of their united front going forward. "I talk to Nicole probably two to three times a day, and I'm very proud of the work she's doing.

We look forward to being together at upcoming events," Kennedy concluded, painting a picture of a campaign that, while facing challenges, is set on a determined path forward.