Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis shot down calls for a unity ticket with Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr., but he did suggest that he could be helpful elsewhere.
Speaking with OutKick founder Clay Travis, the Florida governor suggested that Kennedy would be better suited as head of either the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“I’m aligned with him on [former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony] Fauci and the corruption in the health bureaucracies, 100%,” DeSantis said in the interview released Wednesday. “But at the end of the day, [Kennedy is] more liberal.”
“He used to say — and I don’t know if he still believes this — that if you deny climate change, you should go to jail. Things like that,” he further noted, also pointing to Kennedy’s support for affirmative action.
DeSantis referred to a now-deleted article Kennedy authored in 2014 for EcoWatch that endorsed the “death penalty” for “corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies.”
Although provocative, Kennedy explained in the piece that by the “death penalty,” he meant the dissolving of companies that failed to align with states’ standards of corporate behavior.
Kennedy endorsed the prosecution of prominent conservative donors Charles and David Koch later that same year during an interview at the People’s Climate March.
“There’s a whole host of other things that he’d probably be out of step with,” DeSantis continued while talking with Travis. “If you’re president, sic him on the FDA if he’d be willing to serve, or sic him on CDC. But in terms of being veep, there’s 70% of the issues that he may be averse to our base on.”
Despite his background as an environmental lawyer, experts have taken issue with the son of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s vaccine skepticism. Scientific American notably ran an editorial condemning him in 2017.