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‘The Real Debate’: Independent candidates Robert F Kennedy Jr holds debate by himself after CNN snub – Times of India

World'The Real Debate': Independent candidates Robert F Kennedy Jr holds debate by himself after CNN snub - Times of India

Independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr conducted his own debate after being snubbed from the CNN presidential debate on Thursday.
Kennedy answered the same questions posed to the main candidates while standing by himself on a stage in Los Angeles. The event labeled as ‘The Real Debate’, live streamed on social platform X, featured Kennedy responding in real-time to questions about inflation, the Covid-19 response, and abortion.Host John Stossell ensured Kennedy adhered to the same strict time constraints as Biden and Trump.

Kennedy began ‘The Real Debate’ by accusing CNN of colluding with the Republican and Democratic parties to exclude him from the main debate. “This is something that’s important for our democracy because Americans feel like the system is rigged. This is exactly the kind of merger of state and corporate power that I’m running to oppose,” he said as quoted by AP.
Kennedy took 90 minutes engaging with the audience and addressing their inquiries through the live online broadcast.
For Thursday’s debate, CNN invited candidates who demonstrated strength in four reliable polls and had ballot access in enough states to win the presidency. Kennedy did not meet these criteria. Kennedy has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and is threatening legal action.
Despite his absence from the debate stage, Kennedy’s supporters made their presence known around the debate hall. Some set up a lemonade stand a few blocks from the press area with a sign reading, “CNN Lemons = Kennedy Lemonade.” Others waved “Heal the Divide” signs, and a Kennedy campaign bus played music nearby.
Sujat Desai, a 20-year-old student from Pleasanton, California, highlighted the challenges of Kennedy’s absence from the debate. “I don’t think there’s any way to get awareness if you’re not on the debate stage,” Desai said. “I think it’s a pretty lethal blow not to be in this debate, and it would be detrimental not to be in the next.”
Christy Jones, a holistic health and mindfulness coach from Glendora, California, expressed concern about Kennedy’s visibility. “I do feel like he could still win if people choose to be courageous.If all the people that actually want change voted for him, he would be in. People are asking for change,” she said lending support to Kennedy.
Until recently, Kennedy’s website advertised various events well in advance, including public rallies and private fundraisers. He even organized comedy nights with leading comedians in Michigan and Tennessee. However, since attending the June 15 premiere of a film on combating addiction, Kennedy has maintained a low profile, though he continues to promote virtual and in-person organizing events for his supporters.
However, Kennedy maintains that public visibility is crucial for his campaign, arguing that his chances of winning increase if voters are aware of his candidacy and believe he can defeat Biden and Trump.

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