Home Markets Bill Maher tells RFK Jr.: ‘I hope you’re in the debates,’ but questions path to the White House

Bill Maher tells RFK Jr.: ‘I hope you’re in the debates,’ but questions path to the White House

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“Real Time” host Bill Maher grilled independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over the lack of support he has received from his family and his dip in the polls, foreshadowing an even tougher path to the White House. He also told the candidate, “I hope you’re in the debates.” 

Last week, several prominent members of the Kennedy family threw their support behind President Biden, something Maher thought was heartbreaking. 

“When we see the Kennedys fight amongst each other… when I saw your family coming out against you so much last week, it breaks my heart,” Maher told Kennedy. “Why can’t you get them on your side?”

“I can’t control them,” Kennedy responded. “There’s 105 members of my family, and it’s a big Irish family. I have family members in this audience, I have family members running my campaign… so there’s a division in my family.”

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Bill Maher grills RFK Jr.

HBO’s Bill Maher confronted independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on his narrow path to the White House.  (Screenshot/HBO)

Kennedy acknowledged how his candidacy has caused “dismay” among some members of his family, telling Maher that Biden is a “longterm friend of the family” and several relatives work for his administration.

“I come from a family where we were taught to argue with each other and to debate each other. My father orchestrated debates almost every night at the dinner table. He encouraged us to debate with passion, with good information, with reason but also to love each other even when we disagree with each other,” Kennedy said. 

“And I love my family. I feel loved by them. They’re entitled to their opinion. They disagree with me. They disagree with me on the censorship issue. They disagree with me on Ukraine. They disagree with me on a lot of other issues, and I respect them, and I love them and I wish we could do the same thing in this country where we can differ from each other.” 

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Biden with Kennedy famly

Several members of the Kennedy family rallied behind President Biden’s reelection bid over their own relative in the 2024 race.

The HBO host then pivoted to Kennedy’s polling, which have taken a dive throughout his candidacy. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Kennedy had nearly 17% support in November. Today, he is averaging below 10%. 

“What is the path?” Maher asked. “I mean, other than that, you’re just a spoiler.”

“Now, you begged Ralph Nader, as I did once with Michael Moore, not to run for president when he was running against George Bush, who won that election. What’s different about this? I mean, if there is a path to victory, let me know what it is,” Maher continued. 

Kennedy responded by touting how he’s ‘beating” both Biden and former President Trump “among young people, all Americans under 35,” something Maher pushed back on since “they don’t vote,” which Kennedy took issue with. He also told Maher he leads Biden and Trump among independents. 

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“You’re only on the ballot in three states,” Maher pushed back. 

“Me?” Kennedy replied. “Yeah, but that’s a different question. 

“Well, that’s a path, you gotta be on the ballot!” Maher exclaimed. 

“I’m going to be on the ballot,” Kennedy insisted. 

“You’re going to be on the ballot in all the states?” Maher asked. 

“I can guarantee you I will be on the ballot in every state very, very quickly,” Kennedy doubled down. “But also, every poll that’s been done has shown that my popularity, my favorability rating is way ahead of both President Trump and President Biden. In fact, higher than any other political failure in this country.” 

“I’m the alternative,” he concluded.

Presidential candidates

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. touted how he leads both President Biden and former President Trump among independents and young voters.  (Getty Images)

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Kennedy continued, “A lot of times, people- liberals who I know are friends, say to me you need to get out of the race to let Biden run because otherwise President Trump is gonna win. They never say to me let Biden run because he has the cognitive capacity, and the vigor, and the energy, and a vision for a future that’s gonna really change things, change these existential issues that we’re facing.” 

He added, “We’re now paying more for that service on that debt than for our military. And, you know, the chronic disease epidemic is disabling our kids. Nobody is saying that either of these candidates are going to be able to solve those things.”

“Listen, I’ve got to go to the panel, but I just have to say these issues should be raised. I hope you’re in the debates,” Maher told Kennedy before ending the interview. 

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