House Democrats this week heaped criticism on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ahead of his testimony before the Republican-led House Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government.
“He said some very disturbing things about the COVID virus having a disproportionate impact on Caucasians and African Americans and then also made the claim that it seems to have been specifically … targeted,” Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., told Fox News Digital. “Certain populations like Asians and Ashkenazi Jews are somehow more immune – these are all very dubious claims.”
“I question the judgment of Republican leadership in inviting him to the Hill as a credible witness. I just think it perpetuates more disinformation and does not move our country forward,” he said.
Takano was part of a group of House Democrats who urged House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to disinvite Kennedy in the wake of comments that surfaced in a New York Post video. That video showed the long-shot 2024 presidential contender suggesting that “COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately” and “the people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”
Kennedy, who is challenging President Biden for the 2024 Democrat presidential nomination, was accused of antisemitism by Democrats, including Biden allies on Capitol Hill ahead of his scheduled testimony Thursday. He is due to testify about accusations that the Biden administration colluded with social media companies to censor speech, including during the pandemic.
“Speaker McCarthy loves to tweet about, you know, Israel and how antisemitism doesn’t belong in Congress,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said. “He’s bringing antisemitism to Congress by allowing RFK Jr. to come on Thursday. The responsible thing to do is to not give him that platform.”
He added, “It’s just harmful what RFK is doing on health care, on antisemitic comments. It’s just not helpful, and he has no business being here at the Capitol.”
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee, told Fox News Digital, “I disagree sharply with what he’s been suggesting for a long time, and I think his comments about ethnicity, recently, I think were preposterous words … there’s not a lot of evidence that supports his position, that’s for sure.”
But Neal added that Republicans “get to choose who the witnesses are, and they’re calling it free speech.”
Freshman Democrat Rep. Jeff Jackson, D-N.C., laughed when asked about Republicans inviting Kennedy for the Thursday hearing.
“I think it’s going to be entertaining, and probably it’s going to include some misinformation,” Jackson said.
Others scoffed at his 2024 presidential campaign. Neal simply said when asked about his candidacy: “I’m for Joe Biden.”
“Not much,” Takano said when asked what he thinks of Kennedy’s campaign.
“I don’t think he’s going to get very far, and I think the more people find out his sloppy thinking, his habit and penchant for spouting off unsubstantiated and just crazy claims that divide our country, that it will stand, I think, in stark contrast to the general ways in which Joe Biden has been a unifier,” he said.
When reached for comment by Fox News Digital, Kennedy’s campaign said it was ironic that fellow Democrats opposed him speaking at a censorship hearing on Capitol Hill.
“How ironic that the House Democrats are trying to censor testimony about censorship. Apparently, the form of censorship known as ‘deplatforming’ is reaching its noxious tentacles into even the U.S. Congress,” the campaign said.