Donald Trump, 2022, Student Action Summit
Former President Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, FL. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

Now that polls show that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign may draw votes away from Donald Trump, the former president has dramatically changed his rhetoric.

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For months, the common wisdom was that the long-shot presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy Jr.  would hurt incumbent Joe Biden more than Donald Trump. 

Therefore, it is not surprising that the former president touted his supposed rival’s candidacy as “great for MAGA.”

In addition, he wrote on his Truth Social website that Kennedy “is Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent, not mine. I love that he is running!” 

Now, after a new poll has shown that Kennedy might take more votes from the presumptive Republican candidate than from Biden, Trump has changed his tune… by quite a bit. 

In a multi-post evening tirade directed against RFK Jr., the former president suggested that Kennedy is “a Democrat ‘Plant,’ a Radical Left Liberal who’s been put in place in order to help Crooked Joe Biden, the Worst President in the History of the United States, get Re-Elected.” 

(Editor’s Note: The weird capitalization is Trump’s)

The former president described Kennedy to his faithful as “totally Anti-Gun,” and as an “Extreme Environmentalist” who also advocates for open borders. 

Trump even suggested that he would “take Biden over Junior’, because our Country would last a year or two longer prior to collapse — But it would be dead either way,” according to one of the Truth Social posts. 

Finally, the former president suggested that Kennedy’s “Views on Vaccines are FAKE,” which gets to the heart of the matter. 

RFK Jr. made headlines and gained prominence because of his anti-vaccine views during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is these views that are most likely to resonate with Republican voters. 

While in office, Trump’s administration helped pave the way to quickly develop and make available the vaccines that probably saved the lives of many Americans. 

Back then, Trump touted his own role in “Operation Warp Speed.” Now, however, in light of the anti-vaccine views of his base, he has also changed his rhetoric on that subject.

In a recent speech in Virginia, Trump said he would not “give one penny to any school that has a vaccine mandate or a mask mandate,” thereby hinting that his previous support for such vaccines is a potential vulnerability. 

While he was at it, the former president also lashed out at California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) as well as Kennedy’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan.

“She puts herself down as a businesswoman, or maybe a doctor, and actually, I guess you could say that she’s right,” Trump said of Shanahan, who contributed $2 million to the campaign after being chosen as Kennedy’s vice presidential candidate. “Her business was doing surgery on her husband’s wallet!”

Say what you want about Trump, but he can’t be accused of being subtle. 


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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