Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, told Newsmax that the party should allow primary debates even with President Joe Biden running again.
Joining "Rob Schmitt Tonight" on Thursday, Kennedy said he should be able to challenge Biden publicly on foreign wars, Wall Street regulations, and the censorship of ordinary Americans.
"I don't think that it's a good optics — particularly at this instance in our country's history, when so many Americans are worried that the system is rigged against them, that democracy is broken, that the elections don't really mean anything.
"It's a mistake for the Democratic Party to take the position that we are going to name our — like the Soviet Union — the party gets to choose who the nominee is, rather than the people," he added.
Kennedy rejected the characterization that he is an isolationist, saying he believes the United States should continue exercising global leadership but primarily through economic power, not the military.
"I think the use of military power is counterproductive," he said. "If you look at the Chinese, they have bought enduring friendships now around the world. And they are actually exercising a kind of leadership around the world that ... are filling the vacuum we left behind from trying to rely on military power."
The candidate has seen surprising poll numbers when put up against Biden, recently hitting 19% in a hypothetical Democratic primary poll, according to CNN.
An environmentalist lawyer and vaccine skeptic, Kennedy announced his run on April 5. He is the son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.
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