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Kennedy says he loves his family ‘either way’ after relatives endorse Biden’s campaign over his


ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Sunday acknowledged endorsements from more than a dozen of his relatives who are backing Democratic President Joe Biden, noting that he feels no ill will over the family political divide.

“Some of them don’t like the fact that I’m running,” Kennedy said of his relatives, after a comedy showcase in suburban Detroit to benefit his campaign.

Kennedy — who last year launched an independent presidential bid after first challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination — was reacting to the endorsements from his sister and other relatives last week, a move by the Biden campaign that signals how seriously the president’s team is taking a long-shot candidate using his last name’s lingering Democratic magic to siphon support from the incumbent.

In Philadelphia, Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, niece of former President John F. Kennedy and sister of the current presidential candidate, called Biden “my hero,” saying — without mention of her brother — that the family wanted to “make crystal clear” their support for reelecting Biden.

Biden, who keeps a bust of Robert F. Kennedy in the Oval Office, said the endorsements were “an incredible honor.”

Going on to describe family debates he said his father orchestrated among his children, Kennedy said Sunday night that the exercise showed him a respectful way to take opposing positions with people he cares about without taking it personally.

“I debated them with information and passion and not to hate each other because we disagreed with each other,” he said. “I love my family, either way.”

Kennedy — who mentioned Biden’s Oval Office RFK bust, as well as his relatives currently working both in the Biden’s administration and on his own presidential campaign — made his remarks in Michigan, where last week, the campaign secured access to the general election ballot. In front of the suburban Detroit theater ahead of the performances, several dozen protesters opposed Kennedy’s appearance, with signs aiming to align Kennedy with former President Donald Trump.

Kennedy has spoken publicly in the past about disagreeing with his family on many issues, but maintains it can be done in “friendly” ways. After a super political action committee supporting his campaign produced a TV ad during the Super Bowl that relied heavily on imagery from John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential run, Kennedy Jr. apologized to his relatives on the X social media platform, saying he was sorry if the spot “caused anyone in my family pain.”

“I love my family. I feel that they love me,” he said Sunday. “And I wish the same thing would happen for all of our country, where we disagree with each other without hating on each other.”

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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