RFK Jr.’s Family, Friends, and Former Colleagues Want Him to Drop Presidential Bid

Seemingly everyone in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s personal life is coming out of the woodwork to urge him to drop out of the 2024 presidential race, warning that his spoiler campaign could siphon votes off from President Joe Biden and potentially hand victory to Donald Trump.

The Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, the political arm of the environmental advocacy group where Kennedy worked as an attorney for decades, took out a full-page newspaper ad in six states telling him to “honor the planet, drop out.”

“In nothing more than a vanity candidacy, RFK Jr. has chosen to play the role of election spoiler to the benefit of Donald Trump – the single worst environmental president our country has ever had,” the ad says.

Styled as an open letter directed to RFK Jr., the ad will run Sunday ahead of the Earth Day holiday in newspapers published in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — some of the most significant battleground states this election cycle.

The letter is signed by dozens of Kennedy’s former colleagues, some of whom are close personal friends with Kennedy due to their work together, according to The New York Times, which first reported the ad buy. 

“I mentored Bobby as a young environmentalist,” NRDC co-founder John Adams said in a statement. “I do not recognize the person he has become. His actions are a betrayal to our environment.”

Twelve other national environmental groups have also signed a separate open letter published Friday condemning RFK Jr., including the Sierra Club, the Sunrise Movement, and the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund.

“He may have once been an environmental attorney, but now RFK Jr. is peddling the term ‘climate change orthodoxy’ and making empty promises to clean up our environment with superficial proposals,” the letter reads. “The truth is, by rejecting science, what he offers is no different than Donald Trump.”

Earlier this week, the Kennedy family formally endorsed Joe Biden for the presidency, a move that RFK Jr. said reflected a “family tradition” of political activism. “We are divided in our opinions but united in our love for each other,” he wrote on X/Twitter. 

One person who does not want RFK Jr. to drop out at this point is his running mate, Silicon Valley attorney and multi-millionaire Nicole Shanahan, who contributed $2 million to the campaign the day after her candidacy was announced, Reuters reported. Kennedy recently touted Shananan’s political outsider status, boasting she was an expert on AI and chronic disease.


“I’m guessing she has a higher IQ than anybody who I’ve seen in public life today,” Kennedy told Chris Cuomo on Friday.  

The cash on hand probably does not hurt either.