(Reuters) U.S. presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will announce he is running as an independent instead of pursuing his long-shot bid to oust President Joe Biden as the Democratic Party nominee, a shift that could complicate the 2024 election.
Anti-vaccine activist Kennedy, a member of a storied U.S. political dynasty, posted a video on YouTube on Friday asking Americans to join him for a “major announcement” in Philadelphia on Oct. 9.
“I’ll be speaking about a sea change in American politics,” he said, decrying corruption in “both parties.”
“How are we going to win against the established Washington interests?” he asks. “It’s not through playing the game” by the current rules, he said.
Kennedy is nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and the son of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 during his own presidential bid.
Kennedy said in April he would challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination to run against the Republican nominee, expected to be former President Donald Trump.
Since then, Kennedy has complained that the Democratic Party has “essentially merged into one unit” with the Biden campaign, denying him a fair shot in the nominating contest. Several opinion polls put Biden way ahead of Kennedy in single digit percentages or low double digits.