Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the latest presidential candidate from one of the most famous U.S. political families, is introducing a number of crypto issues in his newly announced campaign to challenge Joe Biden.
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer who is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and son of former U.S. attorney general and senator, Robert F. Kennedy, has raised several points about the digital assets industry in the early days of a 2024 presidential contest that hasn’t yet begun in earnest.
In his latest statements on Twitter Wednesday, the candidate lambasted the Biden Administration’s proposal for an excise tax that would ultimately charge crypto mining operations 30% of their energy costs — an effort that cited environmental harms caused by the sector without any demonstrated benefit.
“It is a mistake for the U.S. government to hobble the industry and drive innovation elsewhere,” wrote Kennedy. “Biden’s proposed 30% tax on cryptocurrency mining is a bad idea.”
Some early polling has suggested Kennedy – whose father also ran in the 1968 presidential election before being assassinated – is reaching into the double digits as a Democratic primary challenger for Biden. Maybe best known as a critic of vaccinations, Kennedy has also been noted for his crypto enthusiasm in the past. Those views have quickly re-emerged from the candidate, who was announced Tuesday as a speaker at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami Beach, Fla.
Earlier this week, he also argued that U.S. financial regulators are waging “an extra-legal war on crypto” that has damaged the banking system. And in a statement last month, he weighed in on the debate over central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), saying such government-backed tokens are “the ultimate mechanisms for social surveillance and control.”
That staunch anti-CBDC view aligns him with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to run as a Republican candidate in 2024.
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The 2024 campaign is still distant, and the earliest candidates – frequently filing in the hopes of dominating political discussions before the leading candidates officially enter the ring – often fizzle out. It’s uncertain whether Kennedy’s name recognition will establish his place among leading Democrats, though fame has led to success in the recent past for at least one candidate with no political background: former President Donald Trump.