Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is seeking enough...

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is seeking enough petition signatures to get on the New York ballot in November. Credit: AP/Richard Vogel

WASHINGTON — A Long Island anti-vaccination activist serving as New York campaign director for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s independent presidential bid told a group of state Republicans his candidacy would “get rid of” President Joe Biden and help boost Republican Donald Trump.

Rita Palma of Blue Point last week urged a gathering of New York Republicans to sign petitions to get the Kennedy family scion on the ballot in New York, arguing his presence in blue states such as New York could block Biden from reaching the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win reelection in November.

“So my thoughts are, Bobby’s moving the blues on his own,” Palma said of Kennedy in the video that has since been removed from YouTube but has been circulated widely on the social media site X, formerly Twitter. The video first was reported by CNN.

“If the Republicans face, well I guess, accepted the fact that New York, Maryland, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, most of the northeast is going to go blue, why wouldn’t we put our vote to Bobby and at least get rid of Biden and get those 28 electoral votes in New York … give those 28 electoral votes to Bobby rather than to Biden, thereby reducing Biden’s 270,” Palma said.

If neither Trump nor Biden garner the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Palma noted the election would be decided by the U.S. House.

“Who are they going to pick? If it’s a Republican Congress, they’ll pick Trump. So we’re rid of Biden either way,” she said.

Palma is the founder of My Kids, My Choice, an advocacy group that instructs people on how to apply for religious vaccine exemptions. Her position aligns with Kennedy's,  a national figure in the anti-vaccination movement.

Palma is a registered Democrat according to state records, but in the video she told the group she campaigned for Trump in Pennsylvania during his 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

Palma could not be reached for comment Monday, and did not return a phone call or a text message seeking comment.

In a statement, the Kennedy campaign sought to distance itself from Palma’s remarks.

“As an Independent movement, our supporters, volunteers, and field organizers come from all sides of the political spectrum and their reasons for supporting Mr. Kennedy are as disparate as their backgrounds,” the campaign said. “Rita Palma is a ballot access consultant responsible for scheduling volunteer shifts for our upcoming signature collection drive in the Empire State. She is not involved in electoral strategy, nationally or in New York … Palma was speaking as a private citizen and her statements in no way reflect the strategy of the Kennedy campaign, which is to win the White House with votes from former Trump and Biden supporters alike.”

Biden campaign officials have long argued Kennedy’s candidacy is meant to siphon support from Biden.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Matt Corridoni said in a statement: “RFK Jr.’s campaign is saying the quiet part out loud: he is a spoiler for Donald Trump.”

“As the saying goes, when people show you who they are, believe them: RFK Jr.’s campaign isn’t building a plan or a strategy to get 270 electoral votes, they’re building one to help Trump return to the Oval Office, “Corridoni said.

Independent and third party candidates can start collecting signatures to get on the Nov. 5 New York presidential ballot beginning April 16.

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