The New Hampshire Democratic Party, already reeling from the likely absence of President Joe Biden on the state’s influential primary ticket, has publicly urged Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to cancel his appearance at the state’s annual PorcFest, one of the biggest libertarian events in the country.
In a letter posted on social media, Ray Buckley, chairman of the N.H. Democratic Party urged Kennedy not to participate in an event run by an “extremist” group that predominantly votes Republicans, is against “common-sense” gun control, advocates for cuts in public school funding, and wants New Hampshire to secede from the United States.
“We respect your dedication to public service and your family’s irreplaceable role in the history of our Republic. However, we must express our serious disappointment and grave concerns about your planned participation in this event,” wrote Buckley.
Kennedy, who is scheduled to give a two-hour speech on Thursday at Porcfest, posted a sharp response to Buckley’s letter accusing “Democratic Party Bosses” of trying to censor him and control the primaries’ outcome.
“The Democratic Party Bosses who promote censorship, who have stripped New Hampshire of its rightful First in the Nation primary status, who have shut down debate, who refuse to campaign in New Hampshire, are in no position to tell me who to talk to. I’m going to speak at Porcfest because I believe in freedom, unity, healing the divide, and truth.#LiveFreeorDie,” Kennedy posted on Twitter.
Free State Project
PorcFest, short for The Porcupine Freedom Festival, is sponsored by the Free State Project, which seeks to attract like-minded libertarians to settle in New Hampshire and encourage progressives to leave the New England state. The group is especially pro-Second Amendment.
The week-long campout, which kicked off June 19 in Lancaster, features over 1,000 events spread out over 100 different mini-sites called “hubs.” Kennedy is slated to give a two-hour speech inside a building called the pavilion at the festival.
Head organizer Dennis Pratt, who approved Kennedy’s appearance despite it being conditional that the pavilion be gun free during his speech, told The Epoch Times he expects Kennedy to be one of the biggest draws in the festival’s 20-year history.
“If he didn’t ask people not to bring their weapons, it would be even more,” said Pratt anticipates a crowd of at least 3,000 this year.
Pratt said he has had several requests from festival participants to pipe Kennedy’s speech into their hubs.
Kennedy, who has theorized that the CIA was behind the killing of both his uncle President John F. Kennedy, and his own father U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, recently said he has concerns that he could be the agency’s next target and, therefore, must take necessary precautions when he speaks in public.
Pratt, who said he has always voted strictly Libertarian except for 1980 when he voted for Jimmy Carter, said he likes Kennedy for his anti-war position and for his stance against government-imposed COVID vaccine mandates.
New Hampshire Republican Carla Gericke, former president and current board member of the Free State Project, told The Epoch Times that she believes Buckley wrote his letter to Kennedy because he knows he is gaining in popularity “in both parties” as well as among independent voters.
“Ray’s letter smacks a little bit of desperation,” said Gerick. “I think the establishment Democrats are scared of Kennedy. He has worldwide name recognition.”
Gericke, along with others, told The Epoch Times that she is aware of a movement by Republicans to vote in the Democratic primaries in an effort to give Kennedy a win over Biden for the Democratic party nomination for president.
She believes that Democrats underestimated just how much Kennedy’s anti-vax views are actually a benefit to him as a candidate instead of making him out to be a “kook.”
Some of Kennedy’s own family has denounced him for warning about the dangers and financial motives behind vaccines.
Gericke said she “in fact” believes the more Kennedy talks about how corrupt the lockdowns were during the “so-called pandemic” the more, she believes, he will gain in popularity.
She said the “fight back” movement, as she called it, is in his favor, with new Twitter owner Elon Musk hosting RFK Jr. on Twitter Space along with his well-watched appearance on the Joe Rogan show. Combined, both shows reached more than 14 million viewers and listeners.
Rogan and Musk added more fuel to the firestorms over Kennedy when they publicly challenged Dr. Peter Hotez, who frequently appeared on national tv touting the vaccine along with mask-wearing and lockdowns, to debate Kennedy on the science of vaccine safety and effectiveness.
Hotez has mocked Kennedy for spreading what he called “dangerous misinformation.” Kennedy has called Hotez “a shill for the pharmaceutical industry.”
While Kennedy jumped at the opportunity to debate Hotez, the vaccine scientist declined.
Since declining the invite Hotez, the co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and professor of Baylor College of Medicine, said he has been stalked and harassed by anti-vaxxers.
In his letter to Kennedy over his PorcFest appearance, Buckley accused Kennedy of endorsing “radical goals.”
“Your presence will lend legitimacy to an extremist movement that aggressively works against the interests of New Hampshire residents,” said Buckley. “We invite you to engage with the people of New Hampshire through other venues and forums that better align with the Democratic Party’s vision for a fair, inclusive, and prosperous society.”
Kennedy is also in the eye of the controversy over New Hampshire’s refusal to abide by the Democratic National Committee’s new primary schedule that, for the first time in 103 years, would put its first in the nation primary second to another state—being South Carolina.
The move was pushed for by Biden, who was nearly treated like a fringe candidate in New Hampshire, where he was the first presidential nominee in history that failed to achieve at least 15 percent of the party vote.
He won big in South Carolina where he took home 39 of the state’s delegates compared to the zero he garnered in New Hampshire.
Biden has vowed not to campaign in New Hampshire, and it is likely he won’t be on the primary ballot in New Hampshire, leaving Kennedy to be, by the very least, the winner by default—although Gericke thinks Kennedy would win even with Biden on the New Hampshire primary ballot.
“I think the Democrats are out of their league, at least here in New Hampshire,” she said.