Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. received backlash after a super PAC supporting his campaign ran a Super Bowl ad that mirrored former President John F. Kennedy's 1960 spot.
American Values 2024 spent $7 million to produce the 30-second ad that ran nationally during Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night.
Using the same jingle and motif as in the JFK ad, the American Values PAC spot featured pictures of RFK Jr. testifying before Congress and skiing, alongside the words "vote independent," NBC News reported.
"Our momentum is growing. It's time for an Independent President to heal the divide in our country," Kennedy wrote Sunday night on X.
The pro-RFK ad, though, quickly was blasted on social media.
Democrat Robert Shrum, the director of the University of Southern California's Center for the Political Future, said the new ad was "straight out plagiarism."
"This RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad is a straight out plagiarism of JFK ad from 1960." Shrum wrote on X. "What a fraud- and to quote [former Sen.] Lloyd Bentsen with a slight amendment, 'Bobby, you're no John Kennedy.' Instead you are a Trump ally."
Even RFK Jr.'s cousin, Bobby Shriver, condemned the ad.
"My cousin's Super Bowl ad used our uncle's faces- and my Mother's," Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, wrote on X. "She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA. She strongly supported my health care work at @ONECampaign & @RED which he opposes."
After the ad ran, RFK Jr. apologized to members of his family in a post on X.
"I'm so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain," he wrote. "The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you."
RFK Jr. previously was blasted by family members for his views, including his anti-vaccine advocacy.
In October, his four siblings put out a statement saying they "denounce" his candidacy and find his run "deeply saddening" and "perilous for our country," NBC News reported.
Kennedy so far is on the ballot in just one state — Utah.
"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," American Values co-founder Tony Lyons said in a statement sent to CBS News.
The Democratic National Committee on Friday filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Kennedy's campaign and his super PAC, claiming the two are colluding to get Kennedy on the ballot.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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