RFK Jr. Scouts Aaron Rodgers, Jesse Ventura for Running Mate

Robert Kennedy Jr. has tapped New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wrestler Jesse Ventura as his top picks for a running mate, the The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Ventura’s son told ABC News on Wednesday that his father had not received a formal offer. The outlet added that Kennedy has said he has chosen someone and that they have accepted the position, but wouldn’t give a name.

According to two sources who spoke to the Times, Rodgers and Ventura both welcomed the idea of pairing up with Kennedy on the independent presidential ticket. The presidential candidate confirmed Tuesday that Rodgers and Ventura were at the top of his list of potential candidates, and said he has been speaking with the NFL quarterback continuously for the past month, while he’s been in touch with Ventura since he introduced himself at a campaign event in February.

Democrats have worried that Kennedy’s campaign could help draw votes away from President Joe Biden’s reelection bid and lead to another Trump presidency. Kennedy — known for promoting the debunked link between vaccines and autism, and opposing Covid-19 vaccination efforts — has made multiple false and dangerous declarations on large public health platforms in recent years. The conspiracy theorist has previously claimed, without evidence, that AIDS was not caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) but “a gay lifestyle” and the use of alkyl nitrites, or poppers. And his 2021 book The Real Anthony Fauci included similar AIDS denialism — including the falsehood that the disease is not caused by HIV — views that he repeated this month on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which commands an audience of millions.

Unsurprisingly, he is in familiar company: Kennedy’s potential running mates seem to fall in step with his ideals. Rodgers has repeatedly spouted conspiracy theories on sports talk shows, received a homeopathic vaccine alternative as a way of “immunizing” (his words) himself against the virus, and dabbled in 9/11 truther/conspiracy theory beliefs. Earlier this year, the quarterback was accused of falsely associating Jimmy Kimmel with Jeffrey Epstein as revenge for the late-night host’s jabs on Rodgers and his public Covid vaccine skepticism.

Ventura, a retired professional wrestler who garnered fame in the Seventies and Eighties as Jesse “the Body” Ventura, was elected as the 38th governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. From 2009 to 2012, he hosted Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura before it was canceled after three seasons.

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