Democratic war room against RFK Jr.

No one likes a spoiler. For that reason, Lisa Smith, a famous Democratic operative, on a mission to make sure no one likes it Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Smith is leading the party’s efforts to reduce Kennedy’s support and thereby reduce his potential disruptive power in this year’s presidential election. She shared insights from the Democratic “war room” in this week’s episode of Inside the beehive. “One thing we saw was while [RFK] pulling in 10 to 15 percent in the polls right now, a lot of the voters who say they support him or are willing to vote for him don’t know much about him other than his last name,” Smith said. Furthermore, “the more people hear or see RFK Jr.,” she said, “the more they learn about him, the less they like him.”

That’s what Democrats (and some Republicans) are aiming for. “Our responsibility is to fill in the blanks for voters,” Smith said. “Let them know that he is a spoiler Donald Trump. Let them know that voting for RFK is a wasted vote. And to really bet on this election.” Smith came prepared for the podcast with anti-RFK talking points that doubled down on anti-Trump views: “He was recruited by Trump allies, he was funded by Trump’s biggest donorand his staff have identified stopping Biden as their top goal.”

Smith said that she is not theoretically opposed to third-party candidates—“I don’t think having more options is a bad thing”—but “in the end, there are only two people in this election who have the actual path to victory and those two people are Joe Biden and Donald Trump.” That’s why the Democratic Party has made an official effort to warn voters about third-party candidates. “This is the first time in history that a war room like this has existed,” Smith said. “And it came about because the Democrats finally learned the lesson from the 2000 election and the 2016 election: when third-party candidates played spoilers and threw the election into Republicans with disastrous results.”

The Democratic Party certainly hasn’t forgotten how candidates like the Green Party candidate Jill Stein attracted votes from Hillary Clinton in 2016. “We ensure that third-party candidates receive the same level of scrutiny that traditional major-party candidates receive,” Smith said. In practice, this means “we’re basically living and breathing everything RFK Jr. right now,” she said. “We listen to or watch all of his interviews, all of his events, and we just go out and make sure that voters are well informed about him.”

This opposition research effort is being emulated to some extent by Republicans. “They, like us, understand that RFK Jr.,” Smith said. could be a wild card in this election. But pro-Trump forces were “of two minds” about Kennedy running, Smith said. Fox’s One Day Sean Hannity is beating him on the air; the next day Hannity’s senior colleague Jesse Watters interviewing him. “Biden, Trump continue to attack RFK,” a banner on Watters’ show proclaimed during the interview.


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