RFK Jr. will face voters in his first live televised town hall tonight (Wednesday) on NewsNation
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., one of three announced candidates for the Democrat presidential nomination next year, will appear in his first televised town hall this evening on NewsNation. According to a June 20 NewsNation news release:
At 9 p.m. June 28 in NewsNation's Chicago studios, Kennedy will take questions from a live audience in a forum moderated by Elizabeth Vargas.
The audience will be made up of South Carolina and New Hampshire voters, selected in partnership with the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
According to the news release and NewsNation's website, the town hall will be available on NewsNation-affiliated broadcast television stations around the country and for free live streaming on the internet. It is scheduled to replay on NewsNation at 11 P.M. E.T./8 P.M. P.T.
NewsNation describes itself as
a fact-based, unbiased national news network from Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. The NewsNation app and NewsNationNow.com provide U.S. and international news 24/7. The team is led by veteran journalists and draws on the local, regional and national expertise of Nexstar's 5,400 journalists in 110 local newsrooms across the country.
Elizabeth Vargas, the moderator of the RFK Jr. town hall, is a veteran TV journalist and anchor who hosts NewsNation's 6 P.M. E.T. nightly program. Vargas had a decade-and-a-half-long career at ABC News as the anchor of the prime-time news magazine 20/20 and as the co-host for a brief period in 2006 of ABC World News Tonight.
Kennedy, who declared his candidacy in April, is one of two Democrats (the other is self-help author Marianne Williamson) to challenge President Joe Biden for their party's 2024 presidential nomination. Kennedy has been polling as high as around 20% in early public opinion samplings of Democrats. If he can double his support when the votes are counted early next year in the first primary in New Hampshire, he could be on his way to checkmate President Biden, as Sen. Eugene McCarthy did in 1968, when his 42% showing in New Hampshire derailed incumbent Democrat president Lyndon Johnson's re-election campaign.
In recent years, Kennedy, an attorney who founded and directed the non-profit Children's Health Defense, emerged as a high-profile critic of arbitrary and draconian government and medical establishment policies on COVID-19. He expanded his base from his roots on the political left to include many conservatives including associations with or eliciting favorable comments from Mike Lindell, Gen. Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon. In Episode 6 of his new show on Twitter on June 22, Tucker Carlson headlined his video "Bobby Kennedy is Winning." Carlson appeared to be this close to issuing an endorsement of Kennedy, whom he interviewed live on one of his last FOX News programs in April.
Kennedy has been attacked and largely shunned by the mainstream media, but in at least a half-dozen live interviews on FOX News, including the one with Tucker Carlson, he has expressed a message that suggests he could draw support from across the political spectrum. His comments, including describing the aim of his campaign as "end[ing] the corrupt merger of state and corporate power," might resonate with a variety of constituencies. He has also criticized the Biden administration's open borders policy, the U.S.'s blank check for militarily supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, and the attack on civil liberties during the COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates. After the abrupt end of Tucker Carlson's program on FOX News on April 24, Kennedy praised Carlson's monologue on pharmaceutical companies as "breathtakingly courageous."
In light of the Democrat National Committee's decision to block any 2024 presidential primary debates, which would subject President Biden to an uncomfortable and untenable situation, Kennedy's best bet may be via free media interviews and televised town halls, the first of which, courtesy of NewsNation, will air tonight.
Thomas Lifson adds: I think NewsNation is very smart to feature RFK Jr. as it tries to establish itself as a full-fledged rival to CNNMSNBCFOXNEWSMAX. RFK Jr. already has a fan base that will want to tune in and see him, and I suspect most have never watched NewsNation. They may like what they see and come back now that they have searched for and found it on their cable/satellite/streaming feed. NewsNation is trying to establish itself in the middle of the political spectrum, accessible to both sides. Featuring RFK Jr. is a good way to highlight that orientation.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who has covered national politics and the politics and economics of health care, popular culture, and media for over five decades. His web page with links to his work is http://peter.media. Peter's extensive American Thinker archive: http://tinyurl.com/pcathinker. Peter's Twitter account is @pchowka.