White House hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will drop his bid to challenge President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination and instead mount a third-party campaign for president, according to a report.
The scion of the Kennedy political dynasty plans to announce that he’ll run as an independent on Oct. 9 in Philadelphia, Mediaite reported on Friday.
“Bobby feels that the DNC is changing the rules to exclude his candidacy so an independent run is the only way to go,” a Kennedy campaign insider told the outlet.
The 69-year-old environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist teased a “major announcement” in a video posted on YouTube Friday, during which he decried “corruption” in “both parties.”
“How are we going to win against the established Washington interests?” RFK Jr. added. “It’s not through playing the game.”
Kennedy Jr., who launched his 2024 campaign in April, has reportedly been weighing a third-party run for weeks.
American Values 2024, a super PAC backing his presidential bid, has been conducting polling to determine his viability in a three-way race against Biden and former President Donald Trump, according to CNN.
RFK Jr. also met with Libertarian Party Chair Angela McCardle in July, according to the New York Times, but she has since said that he did not commit to running as a candidate for the party.
Earlier this month, Kennedy Jr. argued that he is not getting a fair shot in his bid to primary the 80-year-old incumbent, writing in an open letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison that the Democratic Party has “essentially merged into one unit” with the Biden campaign.
“Unfortunately, in recent years our party leaders have succumbed to the siren of control,” Kennedy Jr. wrote.
“They have compromised the defining democratic principle of one person, one vote through repeated interference in the primary elections. They have hijacked the party machinery and, in recent years, directed the power of censorship onto their political opponents, raising political victory onto the altar in place of honest democracy,” he added.
The White House aspirant also slammed the DNC for changing the primary calendar, limiting ballot access in Iowa and refusing to hold a Democratic primary debate.
RFK Jr. is polling at about 15% in national surveys, according to RealClearPolitics, well behind Biden’s 65% support.