RFK Jr. Apologizes to His Family for Super Bowl Ad

Super PAC's spot supporting presidential candidate used imagery from JFK's 1960 campaign
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2024 9:12 AM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2024 4:30 PM CST

One gauge of whether your Super Bowl ad was successful is what viewers are saying online about it, and by the reaction Sunday night, there was a good amount of side-eye on one promo supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for president—including from Kennedy's family. The Hill reports that the 30-second spot lauding Kennedy's independent run for the Oval Office, which was put out by the American Values 2024 super PAC, "heavily relied" on images that Kennedy's uncle, John F. Kennedy, used during his own 1960 presidential campaign. There were some viewers who praised the ad, but others called it "creepy," with RFK Jr.'s family apparently falling into the latter camp.

"My cousin's Super Bowl ad used our uncle's faces — and my Mother's," Bobby Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver (JFK's sister) and cousin of RFK Jr., wrote on X after the ad aired. He added that his late mom "would be appalled" by his cousin's "deadly health care views," an apparent reference to RFK Jr.'s stance on vaccines. Mark Shriver, Bobby Shriver's brother, also piped in, retweeting his sibling's post and adding, "I agree with my brother @bobbyshriver simple as that." RFK Jr. soon got wind of their views and put up his own tweet in response, with an apology.

"I'm so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain," he wrote on X late Sunday. "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." He concluded with, "I love you all. God bless you." Mediaite notes that despite his mea culpa, RFK Jr. still kept the ad up as his pinned tweet—which remained as such as of Monday morning. (Kennedy's siblings aren't all in on his campaign, either.)

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