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RFK Jr. teases Aaron Rodgers, Jesse Ventura as VP contenders, amid push to be on more states' ballots

How could RFK Jr.'s party switch impact 2024?
How could Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s party switch impact the 2024 race? 04:10

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is considering NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former professional wrestler turned-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura as potential running mates for his independent campaign for president, Kennedy's campaign confirmed to CBS News. 

Kennedy, who is running as an independent and polling nationally in double digits against President Biden and former President Donald Trump, has secured ballot access only in Utah so far. A super PAC supporting Kennedy claims it has enough signatures to get him on the ballot in four other states, including likely battleground states of Georgia, Michigan and Arizona. 

Stefanie Spear, a campaign spokeswoman, told CBS News that the pair were on Kennedy's short list of potential running mates, as well as others who she did not name. The New York Times was first to report Kennedy's top choices.

Rodgers, a longtime quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, was traded to the New York Jets last year before tearing his Achilles in his first appearance with his new team. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback has publicly shared the same anti-COVID-19 vaccine sentiment as Kennedy, and Rodgers  publicly endorsed Kennedy in November 2023. Rodgers has admitted he misled the public in 2021 about being "immunized" against COVID, despite not getting the COVID vaccine, and has cast doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines. 

Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Speaks In Grand Rapids, Michigan
Pins and other merchandise in support of Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on display during a voter rally at St. Cecilia Music Center on February 10, 2024 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Emily Elconin / Getty Images

Kennedy is a lawyer and environmental activist who became a leading anti-vaccine and government public health critic during the pandemic. He launched his campaign as a Democrat before shifting to run as an independent. 

Ventura, won a surprise gubernatorial victory in Minnesota in 1998 as a member of the Reform Party and served one term as the state's governor. Ventura's son told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that his father has "not been officially asked" to join Kennedy's campaign. 

Ventura, now 72, said in an interview last year that he would consider an offer to serve with Kennedy. 

Kennedy said Wednesday that he would announce his running mate on March 26, in Oakland. 

The New York Times also reported that Kennedy is considering former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, but people familiar with those discussions told The Times that those candidates have turned him down.

Kennedy, who is running as an independent and polling nationally in double digits against President Biden and former President Donald Trump, has secured ballot access in Utah.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this report said Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had secured ballot access in Utah, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Utah and Nevada. However, he is so far only on the ballot in Utah. The story has been updated. 

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