Conservative billionaire Timothy Mellon is the largest single donor to Democratic 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s super PAC, American Values 2024.
According to campaign finance disclosures provided to the Federal Election Commission, the billionaire single-handedly contributed $5 million of the $9.8 million raised by the PAC in the first 6 months of 2023.
The revelation that the candidate, who is running as a Democrat, is being primarily funded by a Republican megadonor who contributed more than $20 million to former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC in 2020, tracks with other disclosures related to Kennedy’s candidacy.
A previous Rolling Stone investigation found that the Heal the Divide Super PAC, which was created by supporters of Kennedy, was heavily funded by pro-Trump figures who have previously supported a roster of MAGA-aligned politicians.
A July analysis of the Kennedy campaign’s disclosures found that amongst the 96 individuals who maxed out their legal contribution to Kennedy’s campaign last quarter, 37 had donated exclusively to Republicans running for federal office in the past.
The financial discrepancies reflect the reality that Kennedy’s campaign is courting Republicans far more effectively that it is enticing Democrats. President Joe Biden continues to hold a commanding 50+ point lead over Kennedy, yet a June YouGuv survey found that Kennedy’s net favorability amongst prospective Republican voters is surging.
One reason for his appeal amongst Republicans may partially be attributed to his conspiratorial claims about vaccinations. Baseless declarations Kennedy has made about vaccines while on the campaign trail include that vaccine research was likely responsible for the creation of HIV, the Spanish Flu, Lyme Disease, and of course, his long standing (false) belief that vaccines are responsible for autism. Earlier this month — while discussing bioweapons at dinner — Kennedy raised unfounded claims that Covid-19 was “ethnically targeted” to attack Caucasians and Black people, while Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people were “most immune” to the virus.
Despite it all, even some Republican candidates have taken such a shine to Kennedy that they have floated finding a place for him in their future administration — should they manage to win the general election. Last week, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis suggested that he would consider tapping Kennedy to run the Food and Drug Administration, or the Centers for Disease Control.