Kerry Kennedy hopes nephew will run against Trump for presidency
Daughter of Robert F Kennedy officially opens Kennedy Summer School
Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F Kennedy was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at the Dunbrody Centre, New Ross as part of her visit to Wexford for the Kennedy Summer School on Thursday. Photograph: Mary Browne
Human rights campaigner and daughter of Robert F Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, has said she hopes her nephew will run for the US presidency.
She described US president Donald Trump as a “disaster” since taking office and said she hoped Congressman Joseph P Kennedy will run for the position.
She also presented a copy of her book, Robert F Kennedy, Ripples of Hope, to the local Kennedy Book and Research Archive at New Ross Library.
“When people ask me what’s really important about my father, I think the most important thing about him was his moral imagination,” Ms Kennedy told the gathering in the library.
“It’s really what saved us from nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis, because at the time [Soviet leader] Kruschev was making all these warmongering speeches. Daddy and [President] Jack understood that, just as they had the CIA and the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex that was pushing them towards war, that Kruschev also had a military-industrial complex in the Kremlin pushing him towards war, but that’s not what those leaders wanted.”
Reflecting on the current administration, she added: “You could imagine, if we had the current president, we would definitely have gone to war.”
Earlier, she said the book being published by Bob Woodward and the op-ed piece in the New York Times showed a president “who is not in control of his emotions, who is not in control of our country and who is very, very dangerous and mistrusted by the highest people around him in the White House”.
Ms Kennedy, who has worked on various human rights issues since 1981, described President Trump as “a disaster on human rights” because of his policies towards immigrants and refugees and said he had undermined the United Nations as well as the LGBT community, the African-American community, the Native American community, while being a “warmonger” in his actions and his dealings with other world leaders.
Asked if she thinks Mr Trump will be re-elected, she said she hoped not. She also said she is “excited” by the reaction of large sections of the American people.
“I think there are many Democrats who are good, strong leaders,” she said of the prospects of a credible challenge at the next presidential election, mentioning the likes of Senator Elizabeth Warren as possibilities.
“The person I like the most is my nephew, Congressman Joe Kennedy. I would encourage him to run . . . I think our country is looking for optimism, they’re looking for new leaders, they’re looking for youth, they’re looking for somebody who cares deeply about their problems and about helping.”
She said she was convinced her interest in human rights, and that of her father, were rooted in “our Irish experience of sticking together” and embracing freedom and standing up to oppression.
Congressman Kennedy (38) is a grandson of Robert F Kennedy and son of Joseph Kennedy II and Sheila Brewster Rauch and has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2013.