RFK Jr.’s apology over controversial $7M Super Bowl ad doesn’t pass sincerity test

RFK Jr.’s apology over controversial $7M Super Bowl ad doesn’t pass sincerity test

In 1960, John F. Kennedy became the first Democratic candidate to effectively use TV ads in a presidential race—a strategy that helped him win a close race against two-term Vice President Richard Nixon. At a time of rising Cold War tensions, Kennedy faced two major obstacles. At age 43, he was bidding to be the youngest person ever to be elected president. And he was also seeking to become the first Irish-Catholic president.

His media team came up with a catchy campaign song, which was then edited to create shorter TV spots. The lyrics dealt with his youth and creed, and asked, “Do you want a man for president who’s seasoned through and through, but not so doggone seasoned that he won’t try something new?” And later, the lyrics posed this question: “And do you deny to any man the right he’s guaranteed to be elected president, no matter what his creed? It’s promised in the Bill of Rights to which we must be true, so it must be true, so it’s up to you.”

The ad urged people to “Vote Democratic” and featured photos of former presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman as well as Eleanor Roosevelt. It seems this ad may have inspired someone else.

RELATED STORY: RFK Jr.’s campaign of conspiracy theories is PolitiFact’s 2023 Lie of the Year

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