Controversy was sparked during Super Bowl LVIII over a commercial that essentially remade a 1960 campaign ad for John F. Kennedy, but replaces the former president with his nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The ad that appeared during the game was financed and made by the American Values super PAC, an independent group supporting Kennedy Jr. in his bid for president. The 30 seconds of advertising space vost $7 million. American Values was able to confirm this figure to Axios.
The advertising spot did not seem to please Kennedy Jr., who shortly after the broadcast posted a message on social media apologizing, specifically to members of his family who may have been offended by the video.
I'm so 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. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God…
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 12, 2024
"I'm so 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. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or with my staff," wrote Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on X.
According to Deadline, the American Values PAC, which supports Kennedy, had raised nearly $15 million to support the independent candidate's campaign. The broadcast of the 30-second spot on Super Bowl LVIII likely reduced the super PAC's assets by practically half.
Proximity to the super PAC
The advertisement, which last 30 seconds, is a remake of the one that was broadcast during the 1960 presidential election for JFK. Along with a melody, the images review various tabloids in which, instead of images of JFK, are of Robert.
Although Robert F. Kennedy Jr. disassociated himself from the spot, saying that neither he nor his team have permission to be in contact with the super PACs that support them, according to screenshots from some internet users, Kennedy Jr. He had the video pinned to his X profile for several hours.
It’s literally your pinned post. pic.twitter.com/CizcwBv6yd
— Bad Hombre (@joma_gc) February 12, 2024
This situation also coincides with the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) latest federal lawsuit against Kennedy, whom it accused of working too closely with his super PACs. Last Friday, the DNC alleged before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that the relationship between the Kennedy campaign team and the super PAC involved a "scheme for access to the polls."
The DNC maintains that the American Values 2024 super PAC is working on collecting signatures to ensure that Kennedy is on the November ballot in key states, but to do so would require it to "integrate its expenses" with the campaign in ways that violate federal electoral regulations.