Fifteen members of the Kennedy family endorsed President Joe Biden in his re-election campaign during an event in Philadelphia on Thursday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

April 18 (UPI) — The Kennedy family endorsed President Joe Biden in his 2024 presidential campaign in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Fifteen members of the Kennedy family stood with Biden in the final leg of his trip across Pennsylvania on Thursday in their strongest rebuke yet of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential campaign.

The Kennedy family’s support of Biden was led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s sister Kerry Kennedy, who gave comments at the event explaining the family’s public support for the president.

“Donald Trump is running to take us backwards, attacking the most basic rights and freedoms that are core to who we are as Americans. He has said he will be a dictator on day one, even saying he wants to try to suspend the Constitution,” she said.

“I can only imagine how Donald Trump’s outrageous lies and behavior would have horrified my father, Robert F. Kennedy, who proudly served as Attorney General of the United States, and honored his pledge to uphold the law and protect the country.”

Biden at the event said Robert F. Kennedy’s “passion and courage inspired my generation,” recalling his speech calling for peace after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Biden told the family Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy also inspired his own political career. After working at a prestigious Delaware law firm, he eventually decided to become a public defender.

“I’ve done so in large part because I thought that’s something your dad would have done,” he said.

While Trump was the main target of attacks at Thursday’s event, Kerry Kennedy’s rebuke of her brother’s campaign was far from subtle.

“In 2024, there are only two candidates with any chance of winning the presidency,” she said.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and anti-vaccine activist, initially launched his presidential campaign as a Democratic challenger to Biden but announced in October he would leave the Democratic Party and continue his presidential run as an independent.

Last month, he named Nicole Shanahan, an Oakland-born entrepreneur and former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, as his running mate.

Joseph Kennedy III, who is Biden’s special envoy to Northern Ireland, said he is concerned that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign could siphon off enough votes from Biden to allow Trump to regain the presidency.

“We want to be able to make that case not just for the risk that Bobby’s candidacy shows, but because of who Joe Biden is, what Joe Biden has done and what Joe Biden will do with four more years in office,” Joseph Kennedy III said, according to NBC News.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said that he understands why his family members “don’t like” his campaign for president while asserting that he still loves them.

“I don’t know anybody in America who’s got a family who agrees with them on everything,” he told CNN earlier this month.

In a similar move, the family of the late iconic farm union organizer Cesar Chavez came out to support Biden last month after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. emphasized the close relationship between his father and Chavez in a campaign event.

Chavez’s granddaughter, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, ironically, is Biden’s campaign manager.

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