Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized for a Super Bowl ad that aired Sunday from the super PAC backing his presidential campaign after it sparked backlash from his own family members.
The $7 million ad seen by tens of millions of viewers drew direct parallels between the independent candidate and his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy. It also used the exact same ad template as a JFK ad from the 1960s.
Kennedy posted an apology to X late Sunday night, saying that he was “sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain.”
“The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign,” he said in the post. “FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.”
Bobby Shriver, the son of the former president’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, said his mother would be “appalled” by Robert Kennedy Jr.’s health care views.
“My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces- and my Mother’s. She would be appalled by his deadly health care views,” Shriver said in a post on X of Kennedy’s stance as a longtime vaccine skeptic. “Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA. She strongly supported my health care work at @ONECampaign & @RED which he opposes.”
Bobby Shriver’s brother, Mark Shriver, also agreed with him in a social media post.
The Super Bowl ad X post is still pinned at the top of Kennedy’s profile as of Monday morning.
Kennedy has leaned on his famous family name and celebrity connections throughout his campaign, but several of his relatives have denounced his candidacy and called his campaign “perilous for our country.”