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IPFS News Link • Politics: Independent and Other Campaigns

Kennedy Supporters Protest Outside CNN Office In Burbank After He Is Excluded From Debate

•, by Jill McLaughlin

"Let Bobby speak!" the group chanted outside the main office of Warner Bros. Discovery, the company that owns CNN.

CNN announced Thursday that Mr. Kennedy fell short of benchmarks for state ballot qualification and necessary polling. The news network set criteria to include candidates only if they secured enough spots on state ballots to be eligible for at least 270 Electoral College votes, the minimum needed to win the presidency.

Candidates also needed to get at least 15 percent of voters in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters to meet CNN's standards.

The decision means presumptive nominees Republican former President Donald Trump and Democrat President Joe Biden will duel on the debate stage on June 27 in Atlanta.

The major party candidates have cleared CNN's threshold but won't be certified for the ballot until they are formally nominated by their party conventions later this summer.

Mr. Kennedy, who lives in Malibu with his actress wife Cheryl Hines, thanked his supporters for rallying behind him at locations across the country and in California, including Burbank, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

"Americans nationwide are protesting the channel's undemocratic decision to exclude me from the first presidential debate next week," Mr. Kennedy wrote on X. "Thank you to everyone who has come out or plans to come out today!"

One campaign volunteer called the Kennedy exclusion "an insult to democracy." Above, supporters rally in Burbank, Calif., on June 21, 2024. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Kennedy, who chose California attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his running mate, said June 20 the major party candidates didn't want him on the debate stage.

"Americans want an independent leader who will break apart the two-party duopoly. They want a President who will heal the divide, restore the middle class, unwind the war machine, and end the chronic disease epidemic," he posted on X.