Kennedy Jr. Accuses CNN Of Unfair Debate Criteria In FEC Complaint

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent candidate for the 2024 presidential election, has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against CNN, President Joe Biden, and former President Donald Trump. The complaint alleges that the network’s criteria for its upcoming debate on June 27th are designed to exclude Kennedy and unfairly favor the two presumptive party nominees.

To qualify for the debate, CNN requires candidates to secure a spot on the ballot in states with an Electoral College vote total of at least 270 and receive 15% of the vote in four credible polls by June 20th. While Kennedy is close to meeting the polling requirement, his campaign argues that he is being held to different standards than Biden and Trump, who are likely to satisfy the ballot access requirement without petitioning once they are officially nominated by their respective parties.

Kennedy’s lawyer, Lorenzo Holloway, claims that “CNN is making prohibited corporate contributions to both campaigns and the Biden committee and the Trump committee have accepted these prohibited corporate contributions.” The campaign has submitted signatures or other documentation to be included on the ballot in nine states, totaling 171 electoral votes, but not all states have confirmed Kennedy’s inclusion.

In response to the complaint, a CNN spokesperson stated that Kennedy has not met the polling criteria and that his application does not guarantee ballot access in any state. The spokesperson emphasized that state-recognized party nominees are granted ballot access without petitioning, which applies to Biden and Trump as presumptive nominees.

As the debate approaches, the FEC will need to review Kennedy’s complaint and determine whether CNN’s criteria violate election laws or unfairly favor certain candidates.

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