Surging 2024 Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Praises Elon Musk’s Free Speech Battle Against Leftist Censorship
Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks as Michael Smerconish hosts a SiriusXM Town Hall with Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at The Centre Theater on June 05, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

The topic of free speech loomed large in a Twitter conversation on Monday featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the scion of American political royalty, longtime liberal activist, and upstart Democratic presidential candidate.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk invited Kennedy, who some polls show has as much as 20% support among Democrats in his bid to wrest the 2024 nomination away from President Joe Biden, to appear in the second Twitter Spaces conversation featuring a 2024 White House contender after one late last month with Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Kennedy praised Musk, telling him that Twitter under his leadership has fought against “censorship” on the platform.

“I think if we don’t protect free speech at all costs, we don’t have a functioning democracy,” Kennedy said.

No stranger to being silenced on social media, Instagram banned Kennedy over his posts raising concerns about the safety of COVID vaccines more than two years ago. Just this past weekend, Instagram restored his account, with parent company Meta saying it allowed the return because Kennedy is an active presidential candidate.

The turnaround is a late decision, however, as Kennedy filed to run for president two months ago. And he’s no fringe candidate, either. Polls consistently show he has double-digit support, right up to about 20%, in the contest for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Fighting against censorship is a costly battle, even for the social media platforms themselves, as Musk attested during his conversation with Kennedy. Talking about losing the support of advertisers, Musk said Twitter has lost half its revenue “simply because we insist on free speech.”

After Musk completed a $44 billion takeover of Twitter last fall, he championed “The Twitter Files,” a project which has given the public an unprecedented look into the decision-making process behind content moderation. Among other changes made to Twitter, Musk has overseen the restoration of banished accounts, including the one belonging to former President Donald Trump.

Both Musk and Kennedy seemed to agree that democracy cannot succeed when speech and the flow of information are bogged down by restraints.

“There’s never been a time in history when we look back and say that the people who are censoring free speech were the good guys,” Kennedy said. “They’re always the bad guys. It’s always the first step toward totalitarianism.”

Kennedy, who touted himself as “pretty much a free-speech absolutist,” argued that “the remedy for bad speech is more speech.”

Kennedy praised Musk for his release of the “Twitter Files. “I can’t imagine any attorney for Twitter told you that was a good idea,” Kennedy said. “I was so surprised and delighted when you did that on your own.”

“I just want to tell you how much I admire you for that, Elon, and how grateful I am on behalf of my country,” Kennedy told the billionaire South Africa native. “You would come here from another country and be a key instrument for rescuing American democracy and freedom of speech.”

A new poll by Convention of States Action and The Trafalgar Group found that dissatisfaction with Biden’s job performance, an din particular his economic policies, is boosting Kennedy’s challenge. Some two-thirds of respondents

“The Biden Administration is unable to find any semblance of a strategic and sound fiscal policy but continues unabated spending while governing only for the benefit of their corporate and special interest cronies,” said Mark Meckler, president of the Convention of States. “Like him or not, apparently many voters are seeing support for Kennedy as an expression of dissatisfaction with the Biden Administration.”

Kennedy is the 69-year-old son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 while running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the nephew of both former President John F. Kennedy and former Sen. Ted Kennedy.

But despite his liberal bloodlines, Kennedy has shaken up the race with an eclectic mix of policy positions since announcing his bid in April. Known for his skepticism of Big Pharma, Kennedy has railed against the COVID vaccines, which he charges were rushed to market and have been shown to have dangerous side effects. That position could resonate with some conservatives as well as the Democrats Kennedy is courting.

Kennedy has spoken out against the Biden administration’s approach toward the war in Ukraine, advocating for a peace deal. He has also called for tighter control of the southern border and for barring biological males from competing in girls’ sports, all positions that would appear to run counter to the Democratic Party’s leadership.

“I am against people participating in women’s sports who are biologically male,” Kennedy told CNN in April. “I think women who have worked too hard to develop women’s sports over the past 30 years I watched it happen and I don’t think that’s fair.”

Kennedy who was educated at Harvard University and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia, is married to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Cheryl Hines.

Despite his impressive rise in the polls, his bid to earn the Democratic Party’s nomination is a long shot at best, as intra-party challengers to incumbent presidents have a poor track record. His uncle, Ted Kennedy, failed in his 1980 bid to take the nomination away from then-President Jimmy Carter.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Surging 2024 Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Praises Elon Musk’s Free Speech Battle Against Leftist Censorship