Which conspiracy theorist will RFK Jr. choose as running mate: Aaron Rodgers or Jesse Ventura?

At left, Aaron Rodgers walks off the 10th green at Spyglass Hill Golf Course during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament on February 1, 2024 in Pebble Beach, California. That’s right, former governor of Minnesota. Jesse Ventura talks to reporters outside the federal building in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 1. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

Which conspiracy theorist will RFK Jr. choose as running mate: Aaron Rodgers or Jesse Ventura?

Fast Break, Homepage News, Elections 2024

Chuck Schilken

March 13, 2024

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has built a reputation as a conspiracy theorist.

He could be conspiring to bring in another such person. And a famous one at that.

Kennedy’s campaign told The Times that it is considering 70-year-old New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota governor/ex-professional wrestler Jesse Ventura as running mates, along with others on a short list. The New York Times was the first to report on this.

Citing “two people familiar with the discussions,” the New York Times also reported Tuesday that Kennedy has contacted Rodgers and Ventura about the possibility and that “both have welcomed the overtures.”

ABC News reported Wednesday that Kennedy told the network he had chosen a vice president but declined to identify the person. An announcement about this is expected from Kennedy within a few weeks.

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Rodgers, 40, has not spoken publicly about the reports, and the Jets did not respond to questions from The Times about this story.

Pat McAfee, who regularly hosts Rodgers on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Show,” said during the broadcast Wednesday that he doesn’t think Rodgers would leave football for politics at this point.

This doesn’t feel like a potential reality,” said McAfee, who had not spoken to Rodgers about the matter. “What feels like a reality is that this is a very standard Aaron Rodgers offseason. Everything that was built for last year’s Jets team and that feeling that he reminds you of the way he talked about how happy he was to be back in the building and loving football again and all that stuff, that feeling “He had that, I think he will look for that feeling again this season with the New York Jets.”

Ventura’s son, Tyrel Ventura, said in an email to the New York Times on Tuesday: No one has officially asked the governor Ventura will be a vice presidential candidate, so the governor does not comment on speculation.

Kennedy and Rodgers have both been vocal about their anti-vaccine views.

Column: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a threat to your health and our democracy

Rodgers said on McAfee’s show in October that he wanted to work with “my man, RFK Jr.” in a debate about vaccinations against Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, who endorsed Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19, and former U.S. chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Later that month, Rodgers told McAfee, “I believe in medical freedom and informed consent, and I’m voting for Robert Kennedy Jr.”

In February, Kennedy posted a photo to X of himself walking with Rodgers. Earlier this month, Rodgers posted a Kennedy campaign video and wrote, “This is presidential.”

Kennedy is the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who ran for president before being assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968 after winning California’s Democratic primary. In 1963, his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated.

The Jets did not respond to questions from The Times about this story, and Rodgers has not commented publicly on the matter.

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During his show Wednesday, McAfee said he will “try to get Aaron’s answer on his thinking” about his plans for the fall.

As Ventura, 72, repeatedly urged people to get vaccinated and wear masks during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, both he and Kennedy appeared to have bought into conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US.

“I don’t think the government has been honest about it,” Ventura told The Times while promoting his truTV show “Conspiracy Theory” in 2009. ‘Yes absolutely. That there are huge holes in the story they have told. None of these questions have ever been adequately answered.”

Kennedy told CNN last year: I don’t know what happened on September 11. I mean, I understand what the official explanation is; I understand there is disagreement. I haven’t looked at it.


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