Who's Worse for Democracy, Biden or Trump? RFK Jr. Picks

Independent POTUS candidate claims Biden is first president to use feds 'to censor political speech'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2024 10:20 AM CDT
RFK Jr.: Biden Is 'Much Worse Threat to Democracy' Than Trump
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to supporters during a campaign event on Saturday in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. obviously thinks he's a better man for the Oval Office than either of his two main competitors, President Biden and former President Trump, but he made it clear during an appearance this week on CNN that he thinks one of his political foes looms more ominously for the United States than the other, due to First Amendment infringement.

  • Biden bashing: "I can make the argument that Biden is the much worse threat to democracy" than Trump, Kennedy told Erin Burnett on Monday. His reasoning? "President Biden is the ... first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech, so to censor his opponent."

  • Herein lies the rub: The independent candidate has been booted from social media platforms over controversial posts, particularly ones that promote COVID and vaccine misinformation, and he blames the Biden administration for pressuring the sites to dump his accounts.
  • On Trump: Not that RFK Jr. loves Biden's rival. "[Trump] ... trying to overthrow the election clearly is a threat to democracy," Kennedy said, calling those actions "appalling." He added, "There's many things that President Trump has done that are appalling."
  • DNC reaction: "With a straight face Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said that Joe Biden is a bigger threat to democracy than Donald Trump because he was barred from pushing conspiracy theories online," the committee's senior adviser, Mary Beth Cahill, said in a statement. "There is no comparison to summoning a mob to the Capitol and promising to be a dictator on day one. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. laid to rest tonight any doubts that he's a spoiler candidate by pushing his MAGA talking points in prime time."
  • Other reaction: "Preposterous," says Harvard political scientist Daniel Ziblatt, per the Washington Post. "To be a politician committed to democracy, there are two cardinal rules: One must accept election outcomes, win or lose; one must not threaten or use violence to gain power. Donald Trump has clearly violated both rules, while President Biden never has."
  • Kennedy's standing: He's been hovering at around 10% in recent polls, both against Biden and Trump, as well as in a five-way race with fellow third-party candidates Jill Stein and Cornel West included, reports the Hill.
(More RFK Jr. stories.)

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