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VIDEO: Kennedy Takes Swipe at Trump, Biden, Harris

Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas | Image by Kellen McGovern Jones/The Dallas Express

AUSTIN — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appeared to level a humorous barb at President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and Vice President Kamala Harris during a speech in Austin last week while praising his running mate, Nicole Shanahan.

“You don’t see vice presidential candidates or presidential … most of the presidential candidates we hear from today, they sound like they’re doing a satire of Veep,” Kennedy said on May 13, “and the stuff that they’re talking about is inane. It’s cliches. It’s panaceas and shibboleths, and simplifications and bumper sticker slogans.”

Veep is a sitcom that originally ran on HBO between 2012 and 2019. It focused on the comedic foibles of a fictional vice president. The show starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, and Anna Chlumsky.

Every candidate in the race faces a favorability problem, especially Harris. Harris is the only announced VP candidate currently running on a major party’s ticket in the 2024 election cycle, as Trump has not selected a vice presidential candidate yet.

Harris is consistently rated with a net unfavorable opinion in polling and it is a common occurrence to hear her called the most unpopular vice president in history, although this is debatable. An April poll from Statista showed Harris with a 54% unfavorable rating. This tracks with a July 2023 Economist/YouGov poll showing 55% of registered voters viewed her unfavorably, while 39% viewed her favorably.

There have not been any polls on Shanahan’s favorability since she was tapped to be Kennedy’s running mate in March. Although Shanahan’s favorability rating remains unknown, Kennedy has been rated in Gallup Polls as having the highest favorability rating (52%) of any candidate in the race, and he is the only candidate with a majority positive favorability rating.

A recent Pew poll showed that around a quarter of Americans have an unfavorable view of both Trump and Biden. However, trend lines for Trump have been improving since January 2023, while Biden’s numbers have been worsening, according to 538.

Kennedy was in Austin’s Brazos Hall to rally voters, introduce his VP pick, and announce that he had submitted his petition and all the requisite signatures to appear on the Texas general election ballot. “We had a historic today in Texas. We handed in just under 250,000 signatures. That is more than any other presidential candidacy in the history of Texas and in the history of our country,” Kennedy said, noting that this was more than double what state law required.

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