On Wednesday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launched his presidential bid to challenge President Biden in the 2024 Democratic primary and vowed to begin “unwinding” the American Empire.
In a speech announcing his run, Kennedy questioned President Biden’s motives in Ukraine and said it appeared the administration wanted to prolong the war. He said Ukraine was being treated as a “pawn” between two great powers.
Kennedy called for a scaling down of the US military presence around the globe. “I’m gonna bring the troops home, I’m gonna close the bases, and I’m gonna start investing in the US middle class,” he said.
Kennedy’s campaign website details his foreign policy vision. “As President, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will start the process of unwinding empire. We will bring the troops home. We will stop racking up unpayable debt to fight one war after another,” the website says.
“The military will return to its proper role of defending the homeland. We will end the proxy wars, bombing campaigns, covert operations, coups, paramilitaries, and everything else that has become so normal most people don’t know it’s happening. But it is happening, a constant drain on our strength,” it says.
Concerning Ukraine, the website says the “most important priority is to end the suffering of the Ukrainian people, victims of a brutal Russian invasion, and also victims of American geopolitical machinations going back at least to 2014.” It says Kennedy would try diplomacy and offer concessions to Russia, including an offer to “withdraw our troops and nuclear-capable missiles from Russia’s borders.”
Kennedy is starting the race with the support of 14% of voters who backed President Biden in 2020, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll. The poll says only 67% of the people who voted for Biden in 2020 plan to support him against his current Democratic challengers.