Trump Seems Worried About Losing Anti-Vaxxer Vote To RFK Jr.

Former President Donald Trump seems to be anxious that independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will win over one of Trump’s key constituencies — anti-vaxxers.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee ranted about Kennedy, who has tried to distance himself from his documented history as a vaccine skeptic, in a four-minute Truth Social video on Thursday, in which he claimed that Kennedy has misrepresented his views on vaccines to curry favor with the right.

“Republicans, get it out of your mind that you’re going to vote for this guy because he’s conservative. He’s not,” Trump said.

“For those of you that want to vote because you think he’s an anti-vaxxer, he’s not really an anti-vaxxer,” Trump continued. “That’s only his political moment. So, RFK, his views on vaccines are fake, as is everything else about his candidacy.”

Kennedy has said he’s never advised the public not to get vaccines and has insisted that he’s not against them. But his profile as a vaccine skeptic exploded during the pandemic, and he has said as recently as July last year that there’s no such thing as a safe and effective vaccine. He’s also promoted antisemitic-tinged, anti-vaccine messaging through his nonprofit, Children’s Health Defense.

Kennedy’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Trump’s remarks.

During the pandemic, anti-vaxxers found a political home with Trump, whose administration nevertheless took credit for helping fast-track the COVID jab through Operation Warp Speed.

However, Trump has reason to fear that anti-vaxxers, an extreme faction of his MAGA constituency who view the government and Big Pharma skeptically, could migrate to Kennedy, a former Democrat who seems to be siphoning more support from Trump voters than voters for President Joe Biden with his independent candidacy for the 2024 presidential race.

In his video rant, Trump claimed Kennedy is a Democratic “plant” and a “radical left liberal” who’s only in the race to help Biden. He also bashed Kennedy’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan, a Silicon Valley attorney and the ex-wife of Google founder Sergey Brin, saying that she’s more liberal than Kennedy and only running on his ticket to help fund it.

“[Kennedy] is not a Republican, so don’t think you’re going to vote for him and feel good,” Trump said. “He’s a radical left Democrat. Let the Democrats have RFK Jr., they deserve him.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misidentified Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s nonprofit as the Children’s Defense Fund.