the united states capitol building in washington
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Democrats tore into anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at a congressional hearing Thursday, reprising the most incendiary claims made by the man challenging US President Joe Biden to be the party's 2024 nominee.

Republican hardliner Jim Jordan had invited the Kennedy family scion to testify at a House of Representatives panel on supposed government censorship of conservatives, defying calls to drop the witness over remarks unearthed at the weekend that were widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

"Robert F. Kennedy Jr. holds beliefs that are vile, disgusting, racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-science and riddled with conspiracy theories," Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly said ahead of Kennedy's testimony in front of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Kennedy, who struggles to make himself heard due to a neurological condition affecting his voice, is running for the 2024 Democratic nomination but trails Biden by an average of 52 points in major opinion polls.

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