Kennedy Jr. considering 2 conspiracy theorists, Aaron Rodgers and Jesse Ventura, as running mate

Aaron Rodgers on the left and Jesse Ventura on the right
Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura are in the mix to be Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s vice presidential running mate.
(Eric Risberg / AP; Elizabeth Flores / (Minneapolis) Star Tribune via AP)

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has developed a reputation as a conspiracy theorist.

Among the far-fetched, misleading or debunked tidbits the environmental attorney has touted during the last year: Wi-Fi exposure could cause cancer; mass shootings might be linked to the use of antidepressants; chemicals in water supplies could cause children to become transgender; the CIA may have played a role in the death of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy.

Now Kennedy could be conspiring to get another person with a similar reputation on the ticket with him. And a famous one at that.


Kennedy’s campaign told The Times that the 70-year-old is considering New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura as a running mate along with others on a short list. The New York Times was the first to report it.

Citing “two people familiar with the discussions,” the New York Times also reported that Kennedy reached out to Rodgers and Ventura and “both have welcomed the overtures.”

ABC News reported Wednesday that Kennedy told the network he has chosen a running mate but declined to identify the person. Kennedy will reveal his choice on March 26 during an event at Oakland Coliseum, his campaign announced Thursday.

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Rodgers, 40, hasn’t spoken publicly about the possibility of joining Kennedy’s campaign, and the Jets did not respond to questions from The Times.

Pat McAfee, who frequently has Rodgers as a guest on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Show,” said on Wednesday’s broadcast that he doesn’t think Rodgers would leave football for politics at this time.

“This does not feel like a potential reality,” said McAfee, who had not spoken with Rodgers on the matter. “What feels like a reality is that this is a very standard Aaron Rodgers offseason.


“Everything that was being built up for last year’s Jets team ... the way he was talking about how happy he was to be back in the building and loving football again and everything like that … I think he’s gonna be searching for that feeling again with the New York Jets this season.”

Ventura’s son, Tyrel Ventura, said in an email to the New York Times on Tuesday: “No one has officially asked Gov. Ventura to be a vice-presidential candidate so the governor does not comment on speculation.”

In a CNN report Wednesday, anchor and chief investigative correspondent Pamela Brown and an anonymous source told of private conversations with Rodgers in which he “shared deranged conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting not being real.”

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Rodgers responded Thursday on X: “As I’m on the record saying in the past, what happened in Sandy Hook was an absolute tragedy. I am not and have never been of the opinion that the events did not take place. Again, I hope that we learn from this and other tragedies to identify the signs that will allow us to prevent unnecessary loss of life. My thoughts and prayers continue to remain with the families affected along with the entire Sandy Hook community.”

Rodgers has also suggested the U.S. government was shooting down flying objects earlier this year to distract from the release of the Jeffrey Epstein documents and that the color schemes of the Super Bowl logos indicated that the NFL is rigged.

Ventura, 72, has written such books as “They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK,” “63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read” and “American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells Us.”

Kennedy and Rodgers both have been vocal with their skepticism about vaccines.

Rodgers said on McAfee’s show in October that he wanted to team up with “my man, RFK Jr.” in a debate over vaccinations with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, who endorses Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19, and former U.S. chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci.


Later that month, Rodgers told McAfee, “I believe in medical freedom and informed consent, and I’m voting for Robert Kennedy Jr.

In February, Kennedy posted a photo on X of him hiking with Rodgers. Earlier this month, Rodgers posted a Kennedy campaign video and wrote, “This is presidential.”

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Kennedy is the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who was running for president before he was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel in 1968 after winning California’s Democratic primary. In 1963, his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated.

On his show Wednesday, McAfee said that he “will try to get the answer from Aaron in where his mind-set is.”

While Ventura repeatedly urged folks to get vaccinated and wear masks during the height of the pandemic, both he and Kennedy seem to have bought into conspiracy theories involving the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.

“I believe that the government has not been truthful with us about it,” Ventura told The Times while promoting his truTV show “Conspiracy Theory” in 2009.


“Yes, absolutely. That there’s massive holes in the story they’ve told. That none of these questions have ever been adequately addressed.”

Kennedy told CNN last year: “I don’t know what happened on 9/11. I mean, I understand what the official explanation is; I understand that there is dissent. I have not looked into it.”