Ro Khanna Urges RFK Jr.’s Running Mate To Step Down To Prevent Trump Victory

by State Brief

Nicole Shanahan, the vice-presidential pick for independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was sent a letter by CBS urging her to step down as Kennedy’s running mate.

The letter, shared by the vice-presidential pick in an X post, argued Shanahan running on Kennedy‘s ticket posed a threat to President Joe Biden‘s re-election bid this November.

“I have received a letter from Rep. Ro Khanna, intended for Nicole Shanahan, urging her to step down as RFK Jr.’s running mate,” reads CBS’ message to Shanahan, adding the warning came from California Rep. Ro Khanna. “Supporting Kennedy could aid Trump’s return to the White House and have negative environmental consequences.”

Khanna claimed Shanahan sought out his advice prior to accepting Kennedy’s offer last month.

CBS informed Shanahan that the outlet planned to run a story on the letter on Wednesday morning and requested comment from the vice-presidential candidate. Shanahan provided her written response to CBS in her X post.

“In my conversation with Ro he congratulated me on the position and encouraged me to run, stating that every American has the right to run in this country,” Shanahan wrote. “He stated that we live in a democracy, and it was wrong for anyone to threaten me against running.”

“Clearly, Ro has changed his stance based on pressure from the party,” she added.

“I hope he understands how anti-democratic it is to ask someone to step down from a race that empowers the American public to make their own decisions,” she continued. “I am very disappointed that he has been pressured into issuing this letter to me publicly. He could have called me privately. He has my direct line.”

Khanna responded to Shanahan’s post saying Shanahan has “every right” to be on Kennedy’s ticket.

“My point to her both publicly and privately has been that RFK’s ticket threatens the very issues she cares about — such as climate and abortion rights and to welcome her into the Democratic Party,” he added.

The California representative also included a screenshot of a text message to Shanahan congratulating her on accepting Kennedy’s offer.

“I want to be very respectful because I believe everyone has the right to run,” Khanna’s text to Shanahan reads. “But I would hope you might consider joining the Biden efforts at some point to do and push for bold things on regenerative agriculture and climate.”

“Let us keep the lines of communication and dialogue open. Warmly, Ro,” the text concluded.

Shanahan responded to Khanna’s post referring to his response as “performative.”

“You have my phone number and could have called me instead of going to the press,” Shanahan responded.

In response to billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, Khanna reiterated he believed Shanahan was fully within her rights to run as Kennedy’s vice-presidential pick.

“No one is saying Nicole doesn’t have the right to run,” Khanna wrote. “But it is democratic to try to persuade her that she should support Biden instead given [the] stakes.”

“People then have the free speech and freedom to agree or disagree!” Khanna added.

Kennedy responded to Shanahan by praising her “courage” and “grace.”

“I have always admired Ro Khanna,” Kennedy wrote. “His flip flop here is disappointing.”

“The party has power to bludgeon men of character into wavering,” Kennedy added.

Critics of Shanahan, who is the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, noted Kennedy’s vice-presidential pick has historically donated to Democratic politicians and was a proponent of progressive criminal justice policies and abortion access.

“If Nicole and I can get Americans to refuse to vote from fear, we’re going to be in the White House in November,” Kennedy said during his March 27 announcement in Oakland, California. “Nicole and I are running to help heal the symptoms of an ailing America – to heal our divisions, to heal our economy, to heal our mental health and our spiritual and our physical health. But we can’t do it alone. We need you.”

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