RFK Jr. Enlists Trump Lovers to Get on Delaware Ballot With Biden

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Reuters
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Reuters

In order to get on the ballot in President Joe Biden’s home state, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has turned to a group whose leaders include Trump supporters and election deniers, one of whom claims he was in D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.

Despite Delaware’s measly three electoral votes, the third-party candidate desperately needs to get on the ballot in enough states to have a shot at qualifying for the first presidential debate, on June 27 in Atlanta.

The Biden and Trump campaigns have no interest in Kennedy joining them, as The Daily Beast has reported.

Now Kennedy, 70, has enlisted the help of the Independent Party of Delaware (IPD), which has the ability to put forward its own candidate in November.

In doing so the Kennedy campaign has, not for the first time, placed itself in the company of some extreme Trump supporters.

In May, Kennedy appeared at an event hosted by the Constitutional Coalition of New York State, a group with ties to Trump and the Stop the Steal movement, which advances the former president’s electoral fraud lie.

Now, in Delaware, Kennedy is working with the IPD—a party whose vice chairman, Phil Dyer, has admitted he was in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021—the day Trump sent a mob to attack the Capitol, in a deadly attempt to stop certification of Biden’s election win.

“So I was there Jan 6th,” Dyer tweeted in August 2022. “I left after hearing Trump because everything was peaceful. Never thought he made any threats. Never thought the Capitol would be stormed.”

Nonetheless, Dyer has also called for another insurrection, posting in February this year that “Jan 6 part 2 is action packed. Get out the popcorn.” The month before, he reposted a meme showing a gallows with the caption, “I am past the point of just wanting them in prison.” The original poster explicitly referred to “the Biden administration.”

Dyer has asked, “Can we bring Trump back before the nukes start going off?” and “Can we bring Trump back before we are all dead?”

In February he also posted a baseless claim about Black people supposedly ganging up to “jump innocent whites.”

The same month, Dyer compared his family heritage to the legacy of slavery in the U.S., complaining about how his “grandparents were Irish slaves. Where are our reparations? Oh yeah only blacks get them.”

The same month, Dyer said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)—the House Democratic leader and the first Black American to hold the post—should be sent to Guantánamo Bay.

He has also said LGBTQ+ Pride Month and Black History Month contribute to “the demoralization of the straight white man.”

Kennedy, in contrast, is a scion of a famous Democratic political dynasty: His father was the New York senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, a younger brother of President John F. Kennedy. This year, though, RFK Jr. is widely seen as a menace to the political establishment—a spoiler candidate likely to damage another Democratic president, Biden, and help Trump, the Republican, in battleground states.

Among leaders of the party that Kennedy wants to use to get him on the ballot in Delaware, Dyer has repeatedly expressed support for Trump and has said he plans to vote for him in 2024.

Nor is Dyer alone in holding hard-right views. IPD Chairman Donald Ayotte has repeatedly claimed the 2020 election was stolen, and defended the Confederate flag, according to screenshots of Facebook posts and stories obtained by The Daily Beast.

In a 2022 Facebook post showing a Confederate flag, Ayotte wrote, ​​“It is My View That This Is A Part Of American History. Good Or Bad, That This Is A Reminder That Slavery Is Unbelievably Wrong.”

Kathy DeMatteis, the IPD creative director, has also expressed support for Trump.

In October 2022, she tweeted: “If you are claiming that there was no Evidence of election tampering in the 2020 election than [sic.] how do you explain the Federal Reserve Board of Governors giving me back my money when they closed my election bank account down when I ran for Governor of Delaware?”

Dyer, Ayotte and DeMatties did not respond to requests for comment.

Nor did the Kennedy campaign.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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