Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki expressed concern that independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy could hurt President Joe Biden’s reelection chances more than former President Donald Trump’s.

Biden leads Trump in a two-way race by 6% in Wisconsin, but the two are nearly tied when third-party candidates, such as Kennedy who got 12% support, are included, according to a Wednesday Quinnipiac poll. Psaki cited the poll, adding that she does not believe Kennedy only strips support from Trump.

“There was a Quinnipiac poll this week … where if he is in the race and on the ballot in Wisconsin, he gets 12% of the vote,” Psaki said. “So, polls are imperfect, they’re testing a moment in time, but dead worms, conspiracy theories, mercury, all these things aside … my larger point here is that this man is a real threat.”



“I understand that there’s polling that suggests that he would only hurt Donald Trump,” she added. “I don’t buy that. I don’t buy it.”

Polling has largely indicated Kennedy more of a threat to Biden than Trump since he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to independent in October, but several recent polls have suggested the independent is hindering Trump’s candidacy. Biden’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee and other groups have already initiated endeavors to combat Kennedy’s campaign in fear that he will strip more support from Biden’s base than Trump’s.

Many blame Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat on Green Party contender Jill Stein’s presence on the ballot in key swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all of which Trump won by less than a point.

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