Chuck Todd says RFK Jr’s vocal ailment would make Biden look good by comparison on debate stage

Chuck Todd says RFK Jr’s vocal ailment would make Biden look good by comparison on debate stage

NBC News analyst Chuck Todd says Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — who has a neurological condition affecting his voice — would be a potential “asset” at a debate for President Biden because Biden would look better by comparison.

“If you’ve ever spent a lot of time watching Robert Kennedy Jr. speak, I think if you were Joe Biden, you are going to want him on the debate stage,” Todd said on Wednesday.

Todd’s remarks came as Biden and former President Trump agreed to two debates that, for the moment, exclude Kennedy since the independent candidate doesn’t appear on enough state ballots. As the oldest president in history, questions about Biden’s physical vitality and age have become political sore spots, and Todd suggested Kennedy’s unusual manner of speaking could form a helpful contrast with Biden.

“I think there will be a point in the fall that they will actually see that as an asset,” Todd said, referring to the Biden campaign. 


“I’m in the minority in this,” Todd said. 

Kennedy has a uniquely hoarse and gravelly voice, due to a rare neurological condition called spasmodic dysphonia that affects vocal muscles.

“Let’s just face it, he has a vocal issue,” NBC host Andrea Mitchell told Todd during the discussion, acknowledging what he was referring to. “It’s an ailment.” 

Todd argued that Kennedy’s vocal condition might “weirdly help” offset Biden’s personal weaknesses as a candidate, predicting that Kennedy may be present at the second debate. 

“I don’t think a lot of people realize this about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. It will be interesting. I’m not ruling out the possibility that he makes it to the second debate,” Todd said.

Biden and Trump on Wednesday morning agreed to two debates, one on June 27 hosted by CNN and a second on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC. The Biden-Harris campaign asked that the debates occur inside a TV studio, with microphones that automatically cut off when a speaker’s time limit elapses. 


Kennedy’s health has become a center of media controversy after a years-old deposition was exposed, showing that the candidate had previously claimed that a parasitic worm ate part of his brain before dying in his skull. 

Kennedy made the claim during a deposition that took place as part of his 2012 divorce proceedings. He said he had been experiencing “cognitive problems” and feared he was suffering from a brain tumor.

Biden and Kennedy’s campaigns did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report. 

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