Advertisement

RFK Jr. praises Aaron Rodgers amid VP speculation as quarterback denies sharing Sandy Hook conspiracy

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. likes that New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whom he is eyeing to be his running mate, is a "critical thinker" and is "battle tested," Kennedy said in a new interview.

He made the glowing comments to Fox News' Trace Gallagher on Wednesday night as speculation has grown this week about a possible Kennedy-Rodgers ticket, though Rodgers has not commented publicly.

"Aaron Rodgers is battle tested. He's been hammered by the press, he's stood up for things he believes in and I like that part of his character. He is a critical thinker and I think we need that at the time," Kennedy said.

As Kennedy alluded to, both he and Rodgers have stirred backlash for their controversial or debunked views, including on COVID-19 vaccines. Rodgers, like Kennedy, has also been an outspoken skeptic of parts of the health care establishment.

Later in the Fox News interview, in a notable change of tense, Kennedy said of Rodgers, "He is somebody who I think will help me get the country healthy again. He's 40 years old, he's focused on his own health. He is very aware of health issues and, you know, that's one of the key parts of my agenda is to get the country healthier."

When Gallagher followed up with "it sounds to me like Aaron Rodgers is your choice," Kennedy declined to say yes or no.

He previously confirmed to ABC News both that Rodgers is one of a few people who would be his preferred running mate -- and that he has selected his No. 2.

However, he wouldn't name that person.

PHOTO: Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., speaks during a campaign event at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Oct. 12, 2023, in Miami.  (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
PHOTO: Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., speaks during a campaign event at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Oct. 12, 2023, in Miami. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Kennedy has reportedly approached others about the post, including "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe, who on Thursday confirmed the conversations with the candidate but declined to say whether he had been chosen as running mate.

On Wednesday, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's son told ABC News that his father, who was also singled out by Kennedy, had not been offered the role.

A formal running mate announcement will take place March 26 in Oakland, California, according to Kennedy's campaign.

The possibility that Rodgers could be chosen has spurred further questions, such as what it would mean for the superstar quarterback's upcoming season with the Jets. (The team has not responded to a request for comment.)

It has also put Rodgers back in the spotlight -- outside of football.

PHOTO: Aaron Rodgers walks off the 10th green on the Spyglass Hill Golf Course during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Feb. 1, 2024, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (Eric Risberg/AP)
PHOTO: Aaron Rodgers walks off the 10th green on the Spyglass Hill Golf Course during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Feb. 1, 2024, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (Eric Risberg/AP)

On Wednesday, CNN reported that the quarterback privately shared false conspiracy theories about the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including that he allegedly told someone, "Sandy Hook never happened … All those children never existed. They were all actors."

Rodgers posted on X on Thursday to refute that while speaking broadly about the massacre.

"As I'm on the record saying in the past, what happened in Sandy Hook was an absolute tragedy. I am not and have never been of the opinion that the events did not take place," he wrote.

"Again, I hope that we learn from this and other tragedies to identify the signs that will allow us to prevent unnecessary loss of life. My thoughts and prayers continue to remain with the families affected along with the entire Sandy Hook community," he continued.

Twenty children, 7 years old and younger, were gunned down on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, by a 20-year-old shooter with a semi-automatic rifle. Six educators were also killed.

The shooter killed his mother before heading to the school. He took his own life afterward

In Rodgers' post, he did not address the speculation about running for vice president.

RFK Jr. praises Aaron Rodgers amid VP speculation as quarterback denies sharing Sandy Hook conspiracy originally appeared on abcnews.go.com