Psaki: Third-party candidates like RFK Jr. a ‘huge problem’ for Biden

March 21, 2024

MSNBC host and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are a “huge, huge, huge problem” for President Biden’s reelection campaign.

“If you look at RFK Jr., it’s the name recognition issue,” Psaki said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” noting that the Kennedy name was particularly loved in Georgia, which is a key battleground state in Biden’s rematch with former President Trump.

Psaki said too many votes “may just not know a lot about the fact that he is an anti-vaxxer, who’s a conspiracy theorist.” And she noted the Biden campaign and Democratic National Committee were working to amplify that message.

“But it needs to be broad, people need to be shouting it from the rooftops because this is one of the biggest threats to Joe Biden being reelected, is these third party candidates,” she said.

According to a polling average from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, Kennedy, an independent, is currently trailing Biden and Trump by around 30 points nationally, at 10.8 percent. Trump is currently sitting at 41.1 percent and Biden is at 38.6 percent. 

Without Kennedy as a choice, the race is closer — with Trump at 44.6 percent and Biden at 43.6 percent. 

Kennedy is a longtime vaccine skeptic who stepped down from the Children’s Health Defense organization, the U.S.’s most well-funded anti-vaccine organization, to run for the presidency.

Three relatives of Kennedy penned an op-ed in 2019 denouncing his anti-vaccine advocacy, saying that it is “wrong” and “dangerous.”

Many members of Kennedy’s family are publicly backing Biden in 2024 and are reportedly planning to step up those efforts, starting with a family visit to the White House last week.