November 29th, 2007
10:38 AM ET
10 years ago

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. endorses Hillary Clinton

The environmental activist is endorsing Clinton's presidential bid.

(CNN) - At different points during the presidential race, both Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards have alternately drawn comparisons to Robert F. Kennedy.

Kennedy's relative youth and optimism, as well his crusade against poverty and opposition to the war in Vietnam, all made for fitting comparisons to those two Democrats.

But one of Kennedy's sons, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is today endorsing Sen. Hillary Clinton - who happens to hold the same elected office once occupied by his father.

"I watched proudly as Hillary won over New Yorkers across the state in her race for the Senate seat my father once held," Kennedy said in a statement. "Since then, she's been reelected in a landslide victory and proven that she is ready to lead this nation from her first day in office. Hillary will inspire the real change America needs."

He added that Clinton had the "strength and experience" to end the war in Iraq and address the impact of global warming.

Kennedy, an attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, is perhaps best known for his environmental activism.

Kennedy stirred controversy last year with a lengthy Rolling Stone article suggesting that the 2004 election was stolen in Ohio, claiming that "the president of the United States was selected not by the uncontested will of the people, but under a cloud of dirty tricks."

UPDATE: Kennedy’s decision to campaign for Clinton in the Hawkeye State may dredge up some inconvenient reminders of comments he’s made on earlier visits, the New York Times points out. Five years ago, according to reports at the time in the Des Moines Register and the New York Post, the environmental activist told an Iowa audience that “large-scale hog producers are a greater threat to the United States and U.S. democracy than Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.”

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. bmd, LA, CA

    That's great. I will always have major respect for Robert, Sr. and have followed Robert Jr.'s career for a long time. He's intelligent, forward thinking and would do well to get back into the game himself.

    Sounds like I hear some sour grapes (as usual) from Obama supporters. Why don't you all go read your Oprah book club books and leave the running of the country to the next President....Hillary.

    November 29, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. KD, cherry hill NJ

    This is a very important endorsement for Senator Hillary Clinton from an American family that truely cares about Americans. The Kennedy family who has been in public service for the good of people in this great nation.
    JFK would have done the same no doubt and will be proud of this.

    November 29, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. demwit

    Listening to Robert's political advice is like asking Patrick for driving lessons..

    November 29, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. jmaya, iowa

    Thank you Robert F Kennedy for supporting Hillary Clinton. Nobody except Hillary Clinton can clean current mess and move this country forward.
    I hope Obama and Edward will be ditched enough so they can't divide democrat party in the future.

    Eward is rich layer who never work for public good and Barack Hussein Obama's foreign experience scares me. Especially Obama is planted candidate to destroy America and American values. He has energies haters instead sending message of HOPE AND CHANGE.

    November 29, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Heath, Goodyear, Arizona

    This one endorsement forces me to question everything I thought I knew about Robert Jr., his expose on the 2004 election constructing one pillar of my respect for this man. His work on the environment, another.

    Practically the whole country knows who the real Hillary is by now. What is it that Mr. Kennedy knows that we don't?

    If he's going to drop such a bombshell, he should be much more thorough and considerate toward his reasoning. There is no denying that she presents herself as Bush-lite.

    November 29, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Chris, Middletown, CT


    How do you stomach the fact that Hillary won't answer questions – isn't that important to you??

    How do you deal with the fact that she is mandating a universal healthcare plan that countries that have them send their people here for treatment?

    How do you explain that Hillary is proposing putting in a socialist healthcare system – when the real issue is the fact that lawyers sue insurance companies, hospitals and doctors on a daily basis...and thats why healthcare is so expensive?

    It doesn't bother you that she wanted illegal aliens to be "licensed because then they would obtain insurance" – huh??

    I get don't like Bush....but that shouldn't force you to ignore the obvious...Hillary always wanted to be president....why stay with a guy who was with so many different women during their marriage....?? I baffles me that anyone would support this mess.

    November 29, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Chuckles, Sacramento, Calif.

    His voice sounds like that because his late father had an affair with Katherine Hepburn 🙂 I can't even listen to his radio show because his voice annoys me. He sounds exactly like Hepburn in her later years. But these people have to start explaining the strength and experience Hillary has. No one has been able to do that for me yet.

    November 29, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Obama Supporter, Tampa, FL

    If Warren Buffet can support Barack Obama, then who am I to question such brillance?? The Kennedys are known more so for their freak accidents and the Clintons are well...just freaks! It's a good thing he endorsed her, because due to the damage her husband is doing to her campaign...she is going to need it!

    Obama for president!

    November 29, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Ray, Mechanicsville, VA

    Sad that RFK Jr. is endorsing the status quo. I would have thought that he would have really wanted change and gone for a more 'electable' less polarizing candidate. HC's campaign is beginning to show arrogance and swagger something we've had way to much of since 2000. The nation is tired of the cowboy mentality and bring'm on attitude. The smug demeanor of Hillary and Bill's seeming inability to take a backseat and just campaign for his wife rather than steal the spotlight will be exposed for what it it...same ole same ole. RFK Jr's father was the last best hope the country had...I think this endorsement will mean quite a bit less for Hillary than what it would and could have meant to Obama.

    November 29, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Markie Bee, Sacramento, Calif.

    I'm still waiting for any of the Hillary supporters here to explain to me how Hillary got all this strength and experience. Please, please equate it. Please point out to me one piece of meaningful legislation that Hillary has AUTHORED and passed as a senator. Obama has nearly twice as much elected legislative experience as Hillary and has been more active and successful in half the time in the senate where he authored and passed ethics reform, for instance. The only reason we know that Hillary has taken many trips on Vinod Gupta's (InfoUSA poll owner) personal plane – and not all campaign-related – is because Obama's law forced her to reveal that interesting nugget. And to the poster who somehow gives credit to Hillary for failing to read the NIE reports that said the evidence is still out on Iraq and approving the rush to war should get his head examined. She's get points for being "decisive" instead of prudent and exercising sound judgment? It's obvious she was trying to look like a hawk in preparation for her run at the White House. Twenty-three members of the senate exercised good judgment and voted against the rush to war. They read the NIE report, they took the time to read and question the evidence (Joe Wilson's report that stated the yellow-cake story was false). Clinton now say she was misled. A person of presidential caliber does allow himself or herself to be misled like that. I'll take the guy who's shown sound judgment and courage over the trumped up "experienced" one any day.

    November 29, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Yes I said it, FL

    Hey Megha, San Antonio, TX

    I'm sorry but we will not join you in supporting another lie, but thanks for the offer! Does anyone not care that the Clintons have already degraded the oval office once??? He recieved sexual favors in the oval office people and then lied about our faces mind you!!! Hillary is still with Bill because birds of a feather flock together, she can't ask for qualities in a husband that she don't possess. You go on and vote for Hillary and the rest of the rational Americans will vote for Obama!

    November 29, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Roberson, Lincoln, CA.

    Barack Obama is the most qualified candidate to be the commander in chief.. America is in need of a new direction, new blood and a new focus. This belief, is the foundation, and cornerstone of our country..
    I believe, the American people do not want "DUAL" political styles in the white house ( William and Hilary Clinton administration). The main reason for the lack of support for Obama is his ethnicity. There is validity in the aforementioned statement, when one compares and contrast Barack Obama's credentials and relevant intelligence with our current president and presidential candidates.

    The candidate that wins the presidency is a direct reflection of the ideals and representation of America.. America has not been well represented the last 7 years..

    In this era of global economy we need: strength, integrity, vigor, neutrality, trailblazer, strong communicator on foreign and domestic policies.
    Hilary Clinton, i respect and love, but she is not the answer.. Barack Obama is!! Make the right choice America!!

    November 29, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. S. Wright

    I just wanna know if RFK, Jr. is gonna increase his damaging footprint on the environment by flying around in his jet campaigning for Hillary as he does campaigning for the hysterical global warming socialists?

    I mean, like Hillary, he's already got the "dodge and weave" tactic of avoiding answering questions about his activities as opposed to his message.

    November 29, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. anon New York, NY


    you think I'm wrong by saying that RFK served the same amount of years in the Senate as Obama did when running for President?

    Just open up a history book and it will prove I am correct.

    Learn how to spell while you're at it.

    November 29, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Rob, Palmer, AK

    This endorsement will be meaningless. RFK Jr is one of the worst ideologues and liars on the entire left... and that's coming from a liberal. He hasn't earned any fame on his own yet; it's all in his name. Kind of like Paris Hilton. Also kind of like Hillary. No wonder he endorsed her!

    November 29, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. J Houston, TX

    A Kennedy endorsees a Democrat!
    Stop the presses!

    November 29, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Robb, New York

    What a shame. Something tells me his father would have endorsed Obama. He's the closest to his ideals.

    November 29, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Dave, Chevrly, MD

    JFK,JR. said that Clinton had the "strength and experience" to end the war in Iraq.

    So Hillary also had the "strength and experience" to START the IRAQ War in the first place.

    "strength and experience" and GOOD Judgement kept Obama from supporting starting the Iraq War from the begining. That flattens JRK. JR endorsement relovence.

    November 29, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Patrick, New York, NY

    Okay the 90% of the people who are critisizing this endorsement are Republicans and the people who they have put into power are the reason this country is in its current shape.
    The other 10% are Obama supporters and to Annon, OBAMA IS NO RFK!! R.F.K was the brother and attorney general for one of our nations greatest President J.F.K before he became a senator and was running for President.

    November 29, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Tom Dedham, Mass

    This "never worked a day in his life" hypocrite should is just looking/hoping for a job in her supposed cabinet.

    Sorry loser, not going to happen.

    Listening to him is difficult, it makes one wonder how people like he and George Bush even graduated from college, must be because of name only.

    In these parts his family is known as "the wizard of ah's" for their utter lack of intellect and vocal abilities.

    This does nothing to dispute that premise.

    November 29, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Mark C, Asheville NC

    The only thing Hillary Clinton is qualified to do, unfortunately, is lose the general election to a Republican. She's perhaps the only major Democratic candidate who could pull that off in 2008.

    When will the Democrats learn that when they nominate unlikeable, charisma-challenged cold fish (Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry) they lose every time? Democrats need to stop nominating resumes and start nominating compelling candidates.

    November 29, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. John, Asheville, NC

    The "surrealist" posted:

    "Jason. You are correct. What is not correct is that the most recent Patriot Accent voted on was tied to certain other very important budget initiatives which needed funding (remember the only tool left in Bush's tool box is the Veto). And while she did vote to allow the President authority to invade Iraq–the information that congress and the American people showed that Iraq was aggressively pursuing chemical weapons, trying to acquire "yellow cake" uranium from Africa–and had ties with Al Qaida in an attempt to use them against America. Get a grip. At least she took a stand to protect America–not sit on the fence like Obama and so many other Senators when it appeared our safety/security was a stake. She has the intestinal fortitude to make tough judgements–unlike ALL of her rivals."

    1. Obama didn't sit on the fence who came out STRONGLY against the war in 2002

    2. Are you telling me that a woman who is married to the former president of the United States who by law receives internal white house memos on a daily basis, a woman who supposedly was "the face of America and foreign policy for 8 years", a woman who is completely embedded in the Washington system with connections that are as far reaching as they are informative, was so easily fooled into supporting the war like the millions of America who, unlike Clinton, are forced to take what the government says at face value?

    3. Whether or not Bush was filling the airwaves with Iraq/Al Qaeda connections doesn't mean that someone like Hillary Clinton couldn't see and KNOW that these terrorist came from Afghanistan?

    Give me a break, seriously

    November 29, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Mark C, Asheville NC

    This "never worked a day in his life" hypocrite should is just looking/hoping for a job in her supposed cabinet... Listening to him is difficult, it makes one wonder how people like he and George Bush even graduated from college, must be because of name only.

    Actually Kennedy has a speech disorder known as spasmodic dysphonia. But it's great that you're able to make fun of disabled people who get out there and try to make a difference despite their disability, even knowing that cretins are going to make stupid assumptions about them on the basis of their handicap. I guess they can take comfort in knowing they'll accomplish something while the losers who criticize them will remain nobodies.

    November 29, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. columbus, Olivette, MO

    This was expected. Institutionalizing dynastic rule. The fortunate thing is that sober and reflective citizens of this great Republic will reject dynastic rule in America. If Hillary is nominated by the Democrats because she has been endorsed by the establishment, I will vote Republican!

    November 29, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Dan, TX

    Hey, the guy wants Clinton for president. Good for him and that's nice for Clinton.

    This endorsement may help people who want to vote for Clinton feel good about their choice and may inspire them to do more for Clinton, but it isn't going to win her new votes on its own.

    I'm going to vote for the person who I think can do the best job for our country. It's not Clinton. Sorry.

    November 29, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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