Updated Feb 12, 2024 - Politics & Policy

RFK Jr. apologizes to family after Super Bowl ad

This is RFK Jr

Screenshot: American Values 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized to his family Sunday night after a super PAC backing his presidential bid ran a Super Bowl ad that mirrored a 1960 presidential campaign ad for his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy.

Why it matters: The ad was an extraordinarily expensive investment and generated online buzz for the long-shot presidential candidate who is seeking to boost his national name recognition.

The latest: "I'm so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain," Kennedy wrote on X Sunday evening.

  • Kennedy said the ad — which remained pinned at the top of his X page Monday morning — was made without "any involvement or approval" from his campaign.

Between the lines: Many members of Kennedy's family have condemned his decision to run as an independent presidential candidate, fearing that he could siphon off votes from President Biden in the general election.

  • Bobby Shriver, the son of the former president's sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, said after the ad aired on Sunday that his mother "would be appalled by" the health care views of RFK Jr.
  • "Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA," Shriver posted on X.

Details: The ad cost $7 million, American Values confirmed to Axios.

  • "The panicked DC power brokers are working overtime to keep Kennedy off the ballot because they know he can and will end their culture of greed and corruption," American Values co-chair Tony Lyons said in a statement.
  • "Like his uncle and his father, Kennedy is a corruption-fighter, and it's no wonder the DNC is trying every old trick and inventing new tricks to stop him."

Zoom in: Kennedy, who is running for president as an independent, faces an expensive battle to get on the presidential ballot nationwide.

  • He entered 2024 with $5.4 million in cash on hand.
  • American Values ended 2023 with almost $15 million in cash on hand, according to the public FEC filing.
  • The Democratic National Committee sued Kennedy last week, alleging that the long-shot presidential candidate engaged in a ballot access scheme" that illegally coordinated with the super PAC.

Go deeper: RFK Jr.'s presidential campaign is burning through cash

Editors note: This story has been updated with a post on X from Kennedy and a statement from Kennedy campaign press secretary Stefanie Spear.

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