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MoveOn to Kennedy Jr.: Tell Your Super PACs to Give Back All the MAGA Money

NYT: “Trump Allies Have a Plan to Hurt Biden’s Chances: Elevate Outsider Candidates”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to New York Times reporting outlining how Donald Trump’s allies are investing in third-party presidential candidates, such as Robert Kennedy Jr., to swing the election against President Biden, MoveOn Political Action Chief Communications Officer Joel Payne release the following statement: 

“Trump and his MAGA dark money crowd are not fooling anybody. It’s clear as day that Robert Kennedy Jr. is a Trojan horse for the Trump campaign.

Here’s an idea: How about Robert Kennedy Jr. publicly calls on all of his Super PACs to give back every dollar that they’ve received from right-wing, Trump-backing megamillionaires like Timothy Mellon and Patrick Byrne?”

Read the story here and key excerpts below:

The New York Times: Trump Allies Have a Plan to Hurt Biden’s Chances: Elevate Outsider Candidates
By Jonathan Swan, Maggie Haberman, Shane Goldmacher and Rebecca Davis O’Brien

Republican donors are pouring funds into Mr. Kennedy’s independent bid for the presidency. He has raised substantially more from donors who previously supported Mr. Trump than he has from those who backed Mr. Biden. Some are big names in Republican politics who have so far given relatively small amounts, including $3,300 last August from Elizabeth Uihlein, whose family is among the G.O.P.’s biggest contributors.

Timothy Mellon, the largest single donor to Mr. Kennedy’s biggest super PAC, is also the largest backer of MAGA Inc. Mr. Mellon, a reclusive billionaire from one of America’s wealthiest families, has over the past year given the Kennedy super PAC $20 million and the Trump super PAC $15 million, as of the most recent disclosures that were filed in March. Another prominent Kennedy backer is Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive of Overstock.com who worked with Mr. Trump on his effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump himself is intensely interested in the third-party candidates, according to aides. He is eager to know what their effect is expected to be on the race and how they are polling, although his engagement beyond asking questions of those around him is unclear.

Polling shows that third-party candidates could play an especially large role in 2024. Most Americans are unhappy with the choice between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden. Voters are increasingly disillusioned with the two major parties, and trust in American institutions has eroded over the past 30 years. Those trends provide an opening for candidates who style themselves as anti-establishment outsiders willing to blow up the system. Mr. Trump took advantage of similar conditions in 2016.

In a Quinnipiac University poll in late March, Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump both received less than 40 percent of the vote in a hypothetical five-way race, with Mr. Kennedy getting 13 percent, Ms. Stein receiving 4 percent and Mr. West capturing 3 percent.

In the multicandidate race, Mr. Trump led by a single percentage point; Mr. Biden led Mr. Trump by three percentage points in a hypothetical head-to-head race.

“The path to victory here is clearly maximizing the reach of these left-wing alternatives,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who also served as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016.

Mr. Trump put out a statement on Truth Social, his social media platform, that called Mr. Kennedy “a radical-left Democrat,” but he has mostly laid off him otherwise. Mr. Trump has called Mr. Kennedy a “very smart person” and has even privately floated him as a potential running mate, though his advisers view that prospect as extremely unlikely.


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