Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appeared in a nostalgic ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
The spot that played just before half time mimicked an ad that aired for Kennedy’s late uncle, former President President John F. Kennedy, during his 1960 campaign for the White House.
It featured the jingle and a slide show with images from the original commercial, including signs blaring the Kennedy name, as well as photos of Robert Kennedy Jr. that were made to look retro.
American Values 2024, a super PAC that is supporting Kennedy’s campaign, said it paid for the contents of the 30-second advertisement — air time that reportedly was going for up to $7 million during this year’s big game.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 12, 2024
“Our momentum is growing. It’s time for an Independent President to heal the divide in our country,” Kennedy said in a post to X sharing the ad after it aired.
Kennedy, the son of the late former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, has faced criticism from members of his own family, particularly for his skeptical stance on vaccines. Some relatives spoke out again in response to the Super Bowl ad, prompting an apology.
— Mark Shriver (@Mark_Shriver) February 12, 2024
“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” Kennedy said in a post to X. “The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. [Federal Election Commission] rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.”
Some polls show Kennedy getting single-digit up to double-digit support in a match-up against the major party frontrunners, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, and others as surveys find voters are not overly enthusiastic about a 2020 rematch.
During a recent discussion on CNN, Kennedy said he was open to joining with the Libertarian Party if it helped him get more ballot access in states across the country — an acknowledgement of one of the struggles a third-party candidate faces in trying to gain traction.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission last week, alleging that Kennedy’s campaign was illegally coordinating with American Values 2024 to take a “short cut” in getting on the ballot in all 50 states.
Kennedy responded on social media, denying wrongdoing and accusing the DNC of trying “to suppress democracy, silence descent, and handpick our national leaders in smoke-filled rooms are radical departures from the core values of a party my family helped to build.”