Robert F. Kennedy Jr. brought his Independent Presidential campaign to Tuscaloosa Wednesday and told a small crowd he was the best hope to beat two historically unpopular "main party" candidates.

Kennedy is the son of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was fatally shot at the peak of his own attempt to win the White House, and nephew to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

RFK Jr. joined the 2024 race as a Democrat seeking to challenge incumbent Joe Biden, but ended those efforts in October to run as an independent. He drew a crowd of a couple hundred students and residents to an auditorium in the University of Alabama's Bryant Conference Center Wednesday.

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(Stephen Dethrage)
(Stephen Dethrage)

Kennedy told those gathered that he was no stranger to Alabama, having spent long periods here researching federal judge Frank Johnson, campaigning for his uncle Ted Kennedy and assisting the state's riverkeepers in his role as an environmental attorney.

Kennedy, a father of seven adult children, was well prepared to talk about the weight of issues facing the Millenials and Gen Z students who made up about half of his audience Wednesday. He said only his oldest owns a home, and the other six do not, despite good education and jobs.

"When I was your age, the essential promise of the American dream was that if you worked hard, you played by the rules, you could finance a home," Kennedy said. "You could raise a family. You could have a summer vacation. You could put something aside for retirement. And there's nobody in your generation who believes that that promise applies to them."

Kennedy said America keeps shifting its wealth "north," upward into the coffers of billionaires and multi-trillion-dollar asset management companies like BlackRock, Inc. and the Vanguard Group, specters the candidate mentioned at least two dozen times.

"We're going from an ownership society to a rental society and when we do that, we're going to go from being citizens to being subjects," he said. "It's an aristocratic feudal model where the oligarchy owns all the land base, all the access to capital, and we all work for them and live at their mercy."

Kennedy also went over some positions that he acknowledged have earned him a reputation as being anti-science and anti-vaccine.

"When I was a kid, six percent of Americans had chronic disease and today 60 percent of your generation does," he said. "All these things that are common in your generation, we never heard of. Food allergies, autoimmune disease, Crohn's disease, juvenile diabetes, I never knew anybody who had any of that stuff."

Kennedy told Tuscaloosa that these and other disorders including autism, narcolepsy, lupus and ADHD are the result of "mass poisoning" that "no one is talking about" all designed to feed pharmaceutical companies owned by Blackrock and the rest.

He also decried the government's response to COVID-19 and suggested lockdowns during the worst of the pandemic were orchestrated to benefit companies like Amazon and kill small businesses.

All these issues and more, including endless wars and stagnant wages, keep happening under both "Main Parties," and Kennedy said he could fight the system as an Independent.

Kennedy spoke for an hour, answered audience-submitted questions for 30 minutes and stayed for a while to take selfies with his supporters, telling them he sees this as a three-way race against the presumptive "main party" nominees, Biden and former President Donald Trump.

"We have a lot of different paths to victory," he said. "I'm in a better position right now than any independent in American history for a hundred years and I'm running against two men - each of them, if the other one was not running, they would score as the least popular Major Party candidate ever for President. Over 70 percent of the American public say they do not want a contrast between President Biden and President Trump."

Kennedy told the Wednesday crowd that he needed 5,000 signatures of support to appear on Alabama ballots, but said his campaign team wants to shoot for 8,000 in anticipation of resistance from Democrats and Republicans alike.

"The threshold point for me is that is the moment people understand that I can win this election," Kennedy said. "I think then we'll see a huge shift in support."

Learn more about his campaign at

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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

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