The ad highlighted images of the 70-year-old candidate in a vintage look, while using slogans, clips and a jingle that leaned into the legacy of his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy.
Super PAC co-founder Tony Lyons confirmed to CBS News that the Super Bowl ad cost $7 million.
“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 sent to CBS News.
“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” Kennedy said in a social media post on Sunday night. “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.”
However, Kennedy’s press secretary, Stefanie Spear, said in a separate statement to CBS News that “we are pleasantly surprised and grateful to the American Values PAC for running an ad during the Super Bowl where more than 100 million Americans got to see that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is running as an independent candidate for President of the United States.”
As of today, Kennedy has only officially qualified for the ballot in Utah. According to the campaign, he met the signature threshold on Jan. 23, but the campaign is still working on paperwork.
On Friday, the Democratic National Committee filed an FEC filing against Kennedy’s campaign and his super PAC, claiming the two are colluding to get Kennedy on the ballot.
“It’s fitting that the first national ad promoting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy was bought and paid for by Donald Trump’s largest donor this cycle. RFK Jr. is nothing more than a Trump stalking horse in this race,” DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd said in a statement following the ad.
“Like his uncle and his father, Kennedy is a corruption-fighter, and it’s no wonder the DNC is trying every old trick and inventing new tricks to stop him. The public sees through it all and won’t stand for it,” Lyons said Sunday.
Political strategist Robert Shrum, a speechwriter and consultant for the late former Sen. Ted Kennedy, said on social media, “This RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad is a straight out plagiarism of JFK ad from 1960. What a fraud – and to quote Lloyd Bentsen with a slight amendment, ‘Bobby, you’re no John Kennedy.’ Instead you are a Trump ally.”
Several of Kennedy’s family members have condemned his independent bid for the presidency. In October 2023, when he announced he was going to run as an independent, four of his siblings issued a statement calling his decision “dangerous to the country.”
Super Bowl 2024
First published on February 11, 2024 / 9:47 PM EST
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