Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is talking up the prospect of Democrat and Joe Biden rival Robert Kennedy, Jr., serving in his administration.
In a new interview with right-wing commentator Clay Travis, DeSantis was asked whether he’d consider the anti-vax conspiracy theorist Kennedy as a running mate. DeSantis, who has campaigned vigorously (and fecklessly) to appeal to vaccine skeptics, downplayed that idea, arguing that the Democrat was “averse to our base” on 70 percent of the issues.
But the Florida governor was warm to Kennedy serving in the Cabinet, because Kennedy’s stance on “the medical stuff,” DeSantis said, “does appeal to me.” DeSantis lofted the idea that Kennedy could serve as his administration’s attack dog, battling the nation’s top health agencies. “Sic him on the FDA, if he’d be willing to serve,” DeSantis said. “Or sic him on CDC.”
Curiously, the Florida governor is not the only Republican talking up Kennedy this week.
Roger Stone, the notorious GOP dirty trickster pardoned by Trump, also argued in his most recent podcast that Kennedy deserves consideration for a Cabinet pick in a future Trump administration.
Stone floated the idea of a Cabinet post for Kennedy during Tuesday’s episode of his podcast, “The StoneZone.” Stone recalled the Democratic candidate’s own comments during a Fox News appearance with Laura Ingraham, in which Kennedy “I would have to think about that,” adding he “would not reject that out of hand” and suggesting he could do a “lot of good for the public” at an agency like the Department of Health and Human Services.
“I understand political speak pretty well,” Stone argued. “In politics, to me, that means yes.” Stone pointed to a “long tradition of having a bi-partisan Cabinet,” including by Kennedy’s uncle, John F. Kennedy, who appointed a Republican a treasury secretary.
Why would Trump consider it? Stone praised Kennedy’s Democratic presidential bid as a boon to the GOP frontrunner. “I believe that this entire movement could inure to the benefit of Donald Trump,” Stone argued, “if there are disaffected Democrats and independents who at the end of the day are unhappy with the treatment that Robert Kennedy has received.”
The GOP hatchetman argued that many of those traditional Democratic constituencies are “receptive to [Kennedy’s] message of hope and national unity,” adding: “I really subscribe to what he’s said. It’s time to end this toxic environment in our politics. I’m tired of being attacked.”
Stone also touted Kennedy’s impact on Trump’s campaign during a Sunday call with Pastors For Trump, the evangelical group backing Trump’s 2024 bid. “Everything he’s doing,” Stone said of Kennedy, will “benefit” Trump.
Stone spoke in a more familiar and divisive tone on Sunday than he did on his podcast, insisting that secular Democrats “are satanic” and portraying the 2024 campaign as “a struggle between evil and good” and “between the godly and the godless. “
In this context, Stone spoke of Kennedy as an ally, insisting he is mounting a “very serious challenge to the same globalist forces” that Trump targets.
“I don’t think he will be successful, because I don’t think they will let him be successful,” Stone said, conspiratorially. “But I do think that everything he’s doing — all the important issues he is raising — will end up inuring to the benefit of Donald Trump.”
The Kennedy campaign did not immediately return a request for comment. The anti-vax crusader is running as a Democrat, but has declined to say whether he’d endorse the incumbent if his longshot bid fails to unseat President Biden
Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/ron-desantis-roger-stone-robert-kennedy-jr-1234795798/