The super PAC has heightened suspicions about Mr. Kennedy’s base of support. A substantial portion of the PAC’s funding, about $15 million, came from Timothy Mellon, a Republican who has also given $10 million to a super PAC backing former President Donald J. Trump.
Super Bowl ads are often heavy on nostalgia — commercials on Sunday night featured vintage Volkswagen footage, a “Scrubs” reunion, and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Boston.
But the Kennedy ad hit a different note. While John F. Kennedy was running in 1960 as a 43-year-old Democrat, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is 70 years old and running as an independent — a self-described spoiler. (Despite Mr. Kennedy’s age, the ad still portrays him as youthful and athletic, including a shot of him on skis.)
Mr. Kennedy has invoked his storied political family and its legacy throughout his candidacy. But many of his relatives have denounced him.
In July, the former president’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, posted a video calling his uncle’s campaign “an embarrassment,” saying the younger Mr. Kennedy is “trading in on Camelot, celebrity conspiracy theories and conflict for personal gain and fame.”