Pro-RFK Jr. super PAC refashions vintage JFK ad for the Super Bowl


A super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sponsored a 30-second ad during Sunday night’s Super Bowl, re-creating a vintage political ad used to promote John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign and recasting it in support of his nephew’s independent 2024 run.

The ad that aired during Sunday night’s game — for which Kennedy later apologized — was funded by American Values 2024. It’s essentially a remake of an 60-second ad called “Kennedy for Me,” which was created 64 years ago.

The 2024 version of the ad features a shortened version of the original 1960 ad jingle. But the lyrics, “A man who’s old enough to know, and young enough to do,” take on a new meaning in a race in which Kennedy’s top two competitors — President Biden, 81, and former president Donald Trump, 77 — are facing criticism for their advanced age.

Kennedy’s campaign has at times leaned into the cachet of his family’s political legacy. On Sunday, he shared several images with his family, including black-and-white pictures of him as a child, tossing the ball with his father, former attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, and his uncle, the former president.

“Playing football at Hickory Hill with my father, Robert F. Kennedy, and my uncle, President John F. Kennedy,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote on X in one post. “I pray this Super Bowl Sunday is a time of laughter, great food and camaraderie for your family.”

After the Super Bowl ad aired, Bobby Shriver, a nephew of John F. Kennedy, wrote on X: “My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces — and my Mother’s. She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA.” His brother, Mark Shriver said he agreed with the sentiments.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized to members of his family, including directly to Bobby Shriver, for any pain that might have been caused, pointing out that the ad was created by a group with which he was not directly involved.

“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” Kennedy wrote 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.”

But as of Monday morning, a video of the ad remained pinned to the top of Kennedy’s X profile, followed by a link to donate to his campaign.

RFK Jr. has spread falsehoods about vaccines and, according to the New York Post, claimed that the coronavirus was “targeted” to sicken Black and Caucasian people and spare Chinese people and Ashkenazi Jews — although he said that those comments were misinterpreted to smear him. His controversial views have led some members of the Kennedy clan to speak out against him.

Four of his siblings issued a statement calling his candidacy “dangerous to our country.” And Jack Schlossberg, JFK’s only grandson and son of Caroline Kennedy, has criticized RFK Jr.’s 2024 run, saying, “He’s trading in on Camelot, celebrity, conspiracy theories and conflict for personal gain and fame.”

Maura Judkis contributed to this report.


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