Calling himself ‘a Kennedy Democrat’ former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced Robert F. Kennedy Jr. today as the controversial figure announced his bid to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States to an overflow, standing-room-only crowd at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts.
In his speech, Kennedy emphasized priorities of clean government, civil liberties, peace, and economic revitalization. Above all, he invoked the theme of unity.
“During this campaign and during my administration my objective will be to make as many Americans as possible forget that they are Republicans or Democrats and remember that they are Americans,” Kennedy said. “We need to focus on the values we share instead of the issues that divide us.”
Strongly committed to civil liberties, Kennedy emphasized the importance of honest government and freedom of speech.
“The government/media strategy of censoring dissonant voices is not only antithetical to our most fundamental values, it is counterproductive in that it fuels the flames of polarization, alienation, and anger,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy stressed his 30 years as an environmental lawyer and said the country is living in toxic polarization.
He blamed former President Donald Trump for caving to bureaucracy, blasting the response to the coronavirus pandemic, specifically lockdowns, calling them the biggest transfer of wealth in the country and claiming they did not work.
On a related note, he observed that “the blizzard of misinformation that is now inundating our democracy will end only when the government and the media start telling the truth to Americans.”
“When you look at his record as one of the great environmentalists, you come to understand that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is the Paul Revere of our times, moving from town to town, warning us when our water is unsafe to drink, warning us when our air is unsafe to breathe, warning us when our food is unsafe to eat, and warning us when pharmaceuticals are unsafe to use and in each case showing the nation the way to a healthier quantity and quality of life,” said Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor who served as U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 10th congressional district from 1997 to 2013.
In his 2004 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Kucinich slammed corporate media companies’ power to shape campaigns by choosing which candidates to cover and he was the last candidate to end his campaign. In January 2008, Kucinich was excluded from a Democratic presidential debate on MSNBC following the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.
Kennedy was born on January 17, 1954, in Washington, DC, and is the third of 11 children of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy. He is the nephew of America’s 35th President, John F. Kennedy.
His wife, Cheryl Ruth Hines, an actress, and he pointed out his children and grandchildren seated in a balcony of the hotel ballroom.
Kennedy has carried on his family’s legacy of public service by devoting himself to environmental causes and children’s welfare. He struck those themes in his speech, stating, “Good environmental policy is always identical to good economic policy if we measure our economy based on how it produces jobs over the long term and how it preserves the value of the assets of our community.”
His reputation as a resolute defender of the environment and children’s health stems from hundreds of successful legal actions. TIME Magazine named Kennedy its “Hero for the Planet” for his leadership in the fight to restore the Hudson River.