A super PAC backing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for president ran a Super Bowl ad on Sunday in support of the independent candidate, an unexpected move for the long-shot campaign.
American Values 2024 ran a 30-second spot leaning on the legacy of former President John F. Kennedy, repeating clips, slogans and images from his 1960 presidential campaign.
The spot, just before the highly anticipated halftime show, generated fervor on social media and was the first political ad of the big game broadcast.
The ad cost $7 million, PAC co-chair Tony Lyons confirmed to The Hill.
“The panicked DC power brokers are working overtime to keep Kennedy off the ballot because they know he can and will end their culture of greed and corruption. They offer us soaring inflation, forever wars, and chronic disease,” Lyons said in a statement to The Hill.
“RFK Jr. offers us real change along with freedom, trust and hope,” he continued. “Like his uncle and his father, Kennedy is a corruption-fighter, and it’s no wonder the [Democratic National Committee] is trying every old trick and inventing new tricks to stop him. The public sees through it all and won’t stand for it.”
Kennedy started his presidential campaign as a Democrat but switched to an independent bid in October, and he has reportedly been interested in the Libertarian Party line. His unorthodox, anti-establishment campaign has attracted a small but unique bipartisan coalition of voters.
Web searches for “RFK” skyrocketed after the ad aired, according to Google Trends, with terms related to the candidate getting as much as 100 times as many searches as average.
The Biden campaign and Democrats have largely ignored Kennedy’s bid so far. His potential impact on a general election is generally unknown, with polls showing that he could pull votes from both Biden and former President Trump in a potential three-way race.
American Values 2024 is under legal scrutiny for potentially coordinating with Kennedy’s campaign. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a complaint against the PAC on Friday, alleging that Kennedy is receiving improper benefits from the organization.
“Rather than solving this problem by raising the necessary funds consistent with federal law, Mr. Kennedy and his campaign are trying to take the short cut of having American Values 2024 perform this campaign function for him,” the complaint reads. “Put simply, to qualify for the ballot under state law, American Values 2024 must coordinate its activity with Mr. Kennedy and his campaign in a way that violates federal campaign finance laws.”
Kennedy denounced the DNC’s argument in a post on X, formerly Twitter, claiming the Democratic Party is in a downslide.
“After the day they had yesterday, it’s understandable they’d want to put the focus on someone else,” Kennedy wrote Friday in the post. “The DNC is in no position to assert morality over anyone — they refused to have a primary and have worked against the will of the people in the past few elections. It’s sad to see the party my family built crash and burn.”
Filip Timotija contributed.
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