CHICAGO (NewsNation) — From the most talked-about issues facing Americans and the Russia-Ukraine war to shaky family ties, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. laid out all of his cards during a NewsNation town hall Wednesday night.
Voters filed into the NewsNation studios to hear directly from Kennedy himself.
The environmental lawyer said he wants his party back.
“I’m running because I feel like my party has lost its way,” Kennedy told NewsNation host Elizabeth Vargas during a 90-minute chat.
Kennedy took questions from voters in Chicago, New Hampshire and South Carolina, addressing the issues that have distinguished him from President Joe Biden, including inflation, immigration, gun control, foreign policy and even vaccines.
One thing Kennedy was not willing to do was attack former President Donald Trump or Biden.
“What I’m trying to do in this race is bring people together,” Kennedy said. “I like President Biden, I’ve known him for probably 40 years. And this campaign is not about criticizing him.”
But Kennedy also did not commit to supporting Biden if he wins the Democratic nomination.
“I don’t know what I’ll do,” he said. “Let’s see what happens in this campaign.”
The town hall was also full of contentious moments and tough questions.
On the campaign trail, Republicans have been flirting with the idea of crossing over and voting for Kennedy. There have also been Democrats who haven’t been so sure about him either.
Despite never holding elective office, Kennedy’s campaign has generated attention within the party. Among Democrats, Kennedy is polling at 15%, according to a recent Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll. Still, Biden is well ahead at 62%.
In order to win the nomination, Kennedy will have to do something no primary challenger has done in modern U.S. history — unseat an incumbent president for their party’s nomination.