Biden scores endorsement from Kennedy family in major blow to RFK Jr.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - President Joe Biden got a big endorsement from members of the historic Kennedy family, subtly throwing shade at his Independent challenger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden was endorsed by members of the Kennedy family, much to the dismay of his Independent challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden was endorsed by members of the Kennedy family, much to the dismay of his Independent challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  © Drew Hallowell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

On Thursday, Biden held a campaign event in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he was joined onstage by more than a dozen members of the family of late former President John F. Kennedy.

Kerry Kennedy opened the event, announcing the family was formally endorsing his re-election bid, as they believed Biden could "unite not only Democrats, but all Americans, including Republicans, and independents."

Biden then gave a speech where he reminisced about the day he heard JFK was assassinated and shared how much the former president's mark on American politics has influenced his own leadership.

Biden tells Black voters "I need you" in 2024, but makes no mention of a big campaign promise
Joe Biden Biden tells Black voters "I need you" in 2024, but makes no mention of a big campaign promise

The president went on to criticize his Republican challenger, Donald Trump, describing his campaign as one built on "anger, hate, revenge, and retribution" and painted a picture of his vision, which he described as more "optimistic."

Neither Biden nor Kerry mentioned RFK, who is running a third-party campaign in the race.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. responds to family's endorsement of Biden

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (r.) announcing his running mate Nicole Shanahan in Oakland, California, on March 26, 2024.
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (r.) announcing his running mate Nicole Shanahan in Oakland, California, on March 26, 2024.  © JOSH EDELSON / AFP

RFK originally began his campaign last year as a Democrat, but after failing to resonate with the base, he came out as an Independent.

Critics have argued that RFK's failure stemmed from his aggressive anti-vaccine advocacy and penchant for conspiracy theories, which tend to appeal more to the far right than it does to the left.

Throughout his run, members of his family, including his sister Kerry and their other siblings, have openly criticized his questionable rhetoric.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. makes big announcement in New York ballot access drive
Politicians Robert F. Kennedy Jr. makes big announcement in New York ballot access drive

Recently, RFK has been facing heightened criticism from both sides of the aisle for being a potential "spoiler" candidate for either Biden or Trump.

In an interview with ABC News prior to her rally with Biden, Kerry stressed that it's a "two-man race" and the "point" of their endorsement is to make sure Biden gets elected.

RFK also shared his thoughts in a social media post ahead of the event, explaining that though he and some of his family are "divided in our opinions," they all remain "united in our love for each other."

"I hold this as a possibility for America, too," he wrote. "Can we disagree without hating our opponents? Can we restore civility and respect to public discourse? I think we can."

RFK also shared good news on Thursday when he announced that his campaign was added to the ballot in Michigan, one of the most important battleground states in the country.

Cover photo: Collage: Michael M. Santiago & Drew Hallowell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

More on Joe Biden: