RFK fails to meet CNN debate requirements: report

The independent candidate claimed he had met the requirements, but an investigation by the Washington Post found otherwise.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
It has been revealed that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. does not meet the requirements to take part in the upcoming CNN presidential debate on June 27. The independent candidate had previously claimed that he appeared on enough state ballots to appear on stage alongside Donald Trump and Joe Biden, however an investigation by the Washington Post has found that he has not yet reached the threshold.

To take part, CNN required contestants to be at eligible to win at least 270 electoral votes, the number needed to take the presidency. As of Wednesday, Kennedy only appears on five state ballots, which together make up just 42 electoral votes. Petitions or nominations have been filed in an additional 11 states, however even if those are certified by the debate deadline, he will only have 241 potential electoral votes. His applications in the remaining 34 states, which hold 297 electoral votes, are still in progress.

As the Post reports, Kennedy argued that because Trump and Biden hadn't been officially named the nominees by their respective parties, they technically did not have any potential electoral votes. CNN told him that because they were the presumptive nominees, and major party candidates don't need to ask states to appear on ballots, his argument did not stand.

In a statement to the Post, a Kennedy campaign spokesperson said "the bottom line is he is eligible for more electoral votes than both Presidents Trump and Biden."

A spokesperson from CNN, however, dispelled that notion, explaining that "the mere application for ballot access does not guarantee that he will appear on the ballot in any state." They added that even if Kennedy did, he still "does not currently meet [the] polling criteria, which, like the other objective criteria, were set before issuing invitations to the debate."

Kennedy claimed last month that the network and major parties are "trying to exclude me from their debate because they are afraid I would win."

"If Americans are ever going to escape the hammerlock of the two-party system," he added, "now is the time to do it," Kennedy stated, noting that 43 percent of Americans identify as independent.

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