After trying week, RFK Jr. brings Nicole Shanahan on campaign trail for rare appearance

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. faced a challenging week full of controversies and mistakes, which made him defend his health and rethink his stance on abortion. However, he also had a reason to celebrate: he might be on the ballot in Texas, a significant achievement for an independent candidate.

Kennedy’s campaign worked hard to collect over 113,000 signatures from Texas voters, which is a huge requirement compared to other states. They delivered boxes of signatures to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, and the campaign’s petition is now under review.

Kennedy was very excited about this accomplishment. At a rally in Austin, he said, “If you can get on in Texas, you can get on everywhere.” Texas is the 14th state where Kennedy’s campaign claims to have met the ballot access requirements. Despite this success, the campaign still needs to gain ballot access in other states, which Kennedy and his team are confident they will achieve.

However, there have been setbacks. In Nevada, they had to start the signature process again because their forms didn’t include the name of a vice-presidential candidate, breaking state rules. In Hawaii, the Democrats tried to block Kennedy’s progress, but the state ruled against them.

One thing the campaign isn’t short on is money. Nicole Shanahan, Kennedy’s running mate, has already invested millions in the campaign. Last month, she added another $8 million, which the campaign says will cover their ballot access expenses from now on.

Nicole Shanahan made her first public appearances on the campaign trail in Texas. She spoke at an event in Houston and then at the Austin rally. In Houston, she focused on criminal justice reform, showing her passion and authenticity. She thanked each panelist, who had shared their difficult experiences with the law, and fought back tears as she talked about the harshness of American society.

Shanahan’s speech included a quote from psychologist Carl Jung, which she delivered with emotion. However, at the Austin rally, her speech started with a metaphor about soil and fixing America’s foundation, which didn’t resonate well with the audience. The crowd was excited to see her but became quiet during her speech. She did eventually connect with the audience by criticizing both Democrats and Republicans and calling out self-serving politicians.

Despite this, some Kennedy supporters are still unsure about Shanahan. Tammy Markham, a 54-year-old entrepreneur, said, “I don’t know much about her, so I want to find out more.” She was impressed with Shanahan’s speech but needed more solid knowledge to be fully convinced.

Last week, Kennedy and Shanahan seemed confused about his stance on abortion. In an interview, Kennedy said that women should be allowed to choose to have an abortion, even in the final stages of pregnancy. This surprised Shanahan when she heard about it. She believed Kennedy supported limits on abortion and said, “I don’t know where that came from.”

A Kennedy staffer and anti-abortion activist, Angela King, publicly disagreed with Kennedy’s comments, which was embarrassing for the campaign. Kennedy then clarified his position on social media, saying he supports the emerging consensus that abortion should be unrestricted up until the point when the baby is viable outside the womb.

Kennedy also had to address old comments about his health. He had previously claimed that a doctor found a parasitic worm in his brain and that he suffered from mercury poisoning, which he said caused cognitive problems. He assured the public that he has fully recovered and even joked about the worm issue during a surprise appearance at a comedy show, saying, “My brain worm wrote some jokes for me.”

Kennedy faced more controversy when he admitted on a podcast that he offered his children fake vaccine cards during the COVID-19 pandemic so they could attend universities that required vaccination. He said his children didn’t accept the offer because they didn’t want to lie. Kennedy defended his actions by saying that coercion to enforce vaccine mandates was common during COVID and quoted Martin Luther King Jr. to justify his actions, stating, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

Despite these controversies and challenges, Kennedy’s campaign continues to push forward. With significant financial backing from Shanahan and efforts to gain ballot access in more states, Kennedy is determined to stay in the race. His campaign has faced hurdles, but they are working hard to overcome them and reach voters across the country.

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