RFK Jr.’s old brain worm tale evokes McCain smear

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. just got McCained.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the independent candidate for president had some health issues in recent years, including an abnormality caused by a worm that entered his brain and eventually died.

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Kennedy revealed this info as part of a 2012 deposition during his divorce from second wife Mary Richardson Kennedy.

The Times didn’t stop there: It reported that Kennedy suffered from mercury poisoning at about the same time, which can lead to memory loss. Kennedy told the paper he has recovered from the memory loss and brain fogginess and that the parasite did not require treatment.

If this sounds familiar, it should. In the 2000 election, Sen. John McCain was coming up fast on George W. Bush. He was a respected member of Congress and a war hero to boot. And he was stealing Bush’s thunder.

Enter Karl Rove, the man who would become Bush’s deputy chief of staff.

As The Nation reported in 2014, Rove was working for Bush, and his campaign “featured a widely disseminated rumor that John McCain, tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, had betrayed his country under interrogation and been rendered mentally unfit for office.”

The smear, that being tortured in a POW camp had affected his mental health, dogged McCain on the campaign trail.

That’s how the swamp deals with spoilers.

The Times goes on to report on RFK Jr.’s experience with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. He told the Times it has been more than a decade since he experienced the condition and said he believes he no longer suffers from it.

“The issue was resolved more than 10 years ago and he is in robust physical and mental health. Questioning Mr. Kennedy’s health is a hilarious suggestion, given his competition,” Stefanie Spear, a spokesperson for Kennedy’s campaign said in a statement to CNN.

There you have it: the competition. President Joe Biden is 81 and keeps racking up instances of flubbing words and stumbling on stairs and stages. Former President Donald Trump, 77, has been roundly mocked for appearing to fall asleep during parts of his hush money trial in New York.

At 70, Kennedy’s shirtless workout videos have gone viral. What better way to undermine his image than plant the seed of worm-induced mental issues that could affect his performance in the White House?

Kennedy has dug in his heels as a third-party challenger to Biden and Trump. As The Hill reported, he has been averaging close to 10% in polling from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, making him the highest polling third-party candidate in a presidential race since businessman Ross Perot in 1992. It’s not close to Biden or Trump, but it’s enough to put the fear of losing voters in their respective campaigns.

Polls are divided over who Kennedy could hurt more, which makes him a threat to both candidates. The Rovian reveal of Kennedy’s past medical issues may hurt him, or not.

Theoretically, our nation embodies freedom of choice, and our leaders hail this ideal. Just not when it comes to elections, and not when the choice is more than two.

—Boston Herald/TNS