RFK Jr. Generates Buzz about Celeb Running Mate, Fears about Potential Spoiler Effect

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(Molly BrunsHeadline USA) Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed Wednesday that he had chosen his vice presidential running mate and would reveal the choicesometime in the next two weeks.

Kennedy said he considered several different anti-vaccine candidates, including NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, according to CNN.

RFK Jr. also reportedly considered former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and former Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins was also in the running for the job.

Kennedy met with several of the veep alternatives in the last few months, and even hosted a rally with Ventura in Arizona last month.

“We wanted somebody who was aligned with my values, optimistic about our country and its potential and able to run the country at a moment’s notice,” Kennedy said.

Paul indicated that had no interest in joining RFK’s presidential ticket.

“I’m supportive of his ability to have a platform to speak out,” Paul said in an interview. “I think he’s saying a lot of good things. But I have no plans to get involved in the campaign.”

Gabbard, who notably left the Democratic Party with great fanfare after becoming red-pilled by the Biden administration, has been floated as a possible name on former President Donald Trump’s shortlist, as well.

Though she was originally courted by the Kennedy campaign, she turned her attention to Republican presidential candidate after his Super Tuesday success, even hosting a fundraiser for him at Mar-a-Lago.

Rodgers and Ventura appeared to be the only two prospective candidates remaining.

An anonymous buyer registered the domain name kennedyrodgers.com using a GoDaddy host last week; the campaign team has yet to confirm the choice publicly.

Rodgers, 40, is a four-time MVP award recipient and Super Bowl winner, slated to start a new football season with the New York Jets this year. An injury in the season opener waylaid him all last season, his first with the new franchise, following a long career with the Green Bay Packers.

Since being outed during the COVID pandemic as a conscientious vaccine objector—a cause particularly dear to Kennedy’s heart—Rodgers has become more outspoken politically, regularly making podcast appearances to mock and criticize the Biden administration.

In addition to driving enthusiasm about his campaign, with prominent figures from the worlds of politics and elsewhere in the public sphere, the choice could have a significant impact on the 2024 election.

A more liberal pick would be apt to draw voters from President Joe Biden, while a conservative one would draw voters from Trump.

Although Kennedy is not expected to win the presidency, he still may have a potent spoiler effect, much as past third-party candidates Teddy Roosevelt (1912), George Wallace (1968), Ross Perot (1992) and Ralph Nader (2000), all of whom helped deliver the presidency to the non-incumbent party by splintering the party in power at the time.

Kennedy’s politics are decidedly more liberal than many of the names on his shortlist, who would effectively form a sort of anti-government coalition ticket, likely doing more harm to Trump.

Recent Fox News poll numbers from the battleground state of Pennsylvania showed Trump leading Biden by a narrow 2-point margin in a two-way race—until Kennedy enters the equation, leading Trump to lose about 7% of his voters and Biden to lose only 5%.

Kennedy likewise would take more votes from Trump in battleground Arizona, according to Fox News’s polling there.

According to the Kennedy campaign, the candidate will appear on the ballot in the states of Utah, New Hampshire, Nevada and Hawaii.

Super PAC American Values 2024, which is supporting Kennedy’s campaign, said he has enough signatures to get on the ballots in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and South Carolina as well.

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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