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Trump mocks RFK Jr. for not qualifying to appear on debate stage

Former President Trump released a video on Thursday in which he mocked independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for not meeting the requirements to appear in the first presidential debate.

The short video, filmed on board Trump’s private jet, refers to reports that Kennedy is not performing well enough in national polls and has not voted in enough states to qualify for CNN’s next debate.

“I know RFK Jr. is going to be on stage on Thursday and, frankly, I want to call him out because he’s not a debater and he has very liberal, radical left views,” Trump said in the video. “But you’ve got to get a certain number, that was the benchmark and he’s way below that number. He’s not even close.”

CNN says RFK Jr. doesn’t meet requirements for presidential debate

Former President Trump spoke to members of the Club 47 group at the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedl/Getty Images)

“So I’d love to see him be president one day, but he seems unqualified in a lot of ways,” Trump continued. “They say he’ll hurt Biden more than he will me, but I don’t know if that’s true. They say he’ll hurt Biden because he’s a straight-laced leftist. If that’s the case, that’s a good thing. I don’t really care.”

To qualify CNN-sponsored debateA candidate must receive at least 15% support in four separate national polls, and must appear on the ballot in enough states to theoretically garner the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

Kennedy, who is the best-performing candidate in the 2024 presidential race outside of the Republican and Democratic parties, failed to meet the threshold by Thursday morning’s deadline, according to the network.

DNC continues to go after RFK Jr. super PAC, alleging Trump’s biggest donor is backing candidate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, DC (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

A CNN spokesperson independently confirmed to Fox News that RFK Jr. was ineligible.

“He’s got to do better than six or seven. Maybe he’ll get there someday, but I doubt it,” Trump concluded in Thursday’s video.

Independent Candidate CNN reported that Kennedy only had the 15% support he needed in three national polls. The network also reported that Kennedy did not qualify in enough states to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold.

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Biden White House

President Biden spoke to reporters in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Senator)

“President Biden and President Trump do not want me on the debate stage, and CNN has illegally agreed to their demands,” Kennedy said in a statement Thursday. “President Biden and President Trump’s removal of me from the debate is undemocratic, un-American and cowardly.”

“Americans want an independent leader who will break with the two-party system,” he added. “Americans want a president who will heal our divisions, restore the middle class, dismantle the war machine and end the epidemic of chronic disease.”