Monday, May 20, 2024

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy comes to Lansing, answers questions from Michigan voters

October 7, 2023
<p>Robert Kennedy Jr. greeting his fans at his meet and greet at The&nbsp;Doubletree by Hilton Lansing on Oct. 7, 2023.</p>

Robert Kennedy Jr. greeting his fans at his meet and greet at The Doubletree by Hilton Lansing on Oct. 7, 2023.

2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. came to Lansing for a ‘meet and greet’ with Michigan voters. Kennedy discussed aspects of his campaign platform and answered questions from attendees. 

Kennedy said that the current economic state of the United States is causing people to “make desperate decisions right now,” and that one of his main campaign promises is to repair this system. 

“I spend a lot of time at kitchen tables with people and talking with them about their lives, and if you tell most Americans today that they are in the midst of a great prosperity they think they're being gaslighted," Kennedy said in his speech. "People feel that the system is disintegrating." 

Inflation serves as one of the main drivers of this economic turmoil, Kennedy said. As one of his campaign promises, he said that cutting government spending is a vital solution to decreasing the rate of inflation. 

If elected, Kennedy would cut government programs that the U.S Government Accountability Office deems wasteful. 

“I'm gonna get them to go through all of those studies, and identify the worst of those programs, the ones that are the least politically volatile, that everybody could look at, and nobody's going to stand up and defend them and then I'm going to put them all in one Bill, send it to Congress and ask for an up or down vote on all of them,” he said. 

Another way that Kennedy said he is going to cut government spending is by decreasing the military budget by $500 billion.

The current military budget is $1.80 trillion, according to the government spending website

“We've got to cut our costs, so that we don't continue to add to it," Kennedy said. 

Kennedy also said that, if elected, he would “do everything (he) can to initiate a housing boom” in order to combat the current housing crisis. He plans on accomplishing this through offering 3% interest rates on mortgages for single family homes.

“You know how if you have a rich uncle and he will co-sign your mortgage for you, you can get a much better rate, because the bank is basing their interest rates to you not on your lousy credit rating, but on your uncle's superb credit rating?” he said. “I'm gonna give everybody a rich uncle, which is Uncle Sam.” 

Another facet of Kennedy’s campaign platform is to waive the fees associated with passport cards and make them the standard form of identification for employment. 

“The day I get into office, I'm going to order at the State Department on waiving the fee on passport cards, for any American who says they can't afford them,” he said. 

According to Kennedy, making it illegal to hire someone without a passport card will increase border security by making it more difficult for undocumented immigrants to obtain employment. 

Kennedy said an employer would not be able to hire anyone without the potential employee first showing them the passport ID. 

"If you put a single employer in jail, for hiring an illegal alien, it all ends overnight and the border dries up,” he said. 

Brittany Chavez, one of the attendees of the event, said that she thinks Michigan voters would go for Kennedy’s platform, despite Kennedy’s lack of strong party affiliation. 

“I’m pretty sure that our state would probably go for him, definitely swing whichever way he decides to go,” she said. 

Another attendee, Ben Stimpson, said that Kennedy appeals to the middle class, which he thinks will appeal to Michigan voters. 

“The working class has been ignored in this country for a long time,” Stimpson said. “I think he appeals to those people very well and I think he's got a lot of chance here amongst those voters.” 

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Stimpson said that Kennedy’s lack of strong party affiliation will appeal to Michigan voters as well.

“We all just want a break from this ‘two party, voting for the same two guys that we've already had and don't feel like they've done a particularly good job for a long time.’ I think he's got a lot of opportunity here and I think Michigan will work in his favor,” he said. 

At the time of publication, Kennedy is behind Biden in the national polls for the Democratic nomination. Kennedy currently holds 16.4% favor, compared to Biden’s 61.2% rating. In Michigan, Kennedy stands at 11% with Biden at 65% for the nomination. 

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