Kennedy, a Longshot for President, Apologizes to His Family Following Super Bowl Commercial

( — On Sunday, February 11, during the 2024 Super Bowl, the superPAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent bid for the upcoming presidential election, American Values 2024, ran an ad that repurposed a spot from his late uncle President John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign ad. The retro style and barbed lyrics jabbed at the age of RFK Jr.’s opponents, President Joe Biden and former President Trump. Several of Kennedy’s relatives were outraged.

RFK Jr.’s cousins Bobby and Mark Shriver, both sons of President John F. Kennedy’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, took to the social media platform X to register complaints and again denounce RFK Jr.’s campaign. Bobby Shriver pointed out that the ad featured their mother’s face and asserted that she would have been “appalled” at RFK Jr.’s expressed views on vaccines. Mark Shriver simply added his agreement to his brother’s post.

RFK Jr. responded to this public criticism with an apparently heartfelt apology, adding that he did not approve the ad. Federal rules regarding SuperPACs prohibit them from consulting directly with candidates or their staff, which he noted in his apologetic post on X. Later in the evening, he posted another apology on X, directed more generally to any of his family members who may have been offended. The greater Kennedy clan has not been supportive of his campaign throughout the process, with many of them making statements of support for President Biden.

American Values 2024 has confirmed that the 30-second ad cost $7 million. Superbowl ads are known to be costly, as space is limited, and the audience is large. Many corporations, non-profits, and political organizations spend a significant share of their advertising budget on the yearly Super Bowl ads, as popular or controversial ones often go viral, leading to even greater exposure. While Kennedy’s relatives may be scrambling to distance themselves from his presidential bid, the public dissent over the short ad may backfire by creating buzz and lengthening its reach.

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