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Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. makes campaign stop in San Diego

Longtime environmental champion RFK Jr. has garnered headlines over the last years as a staunch anti-vaccine activist and sharp critic of the pandemic-era lockdowns.

SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of supporters came out on Memorial Day to see Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speak. 

Kennedy touched on everything from the COVID lockdown, to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, to his concerns that America's middle class is in danger of collapse.

Taking the stage at Humphrey's on Shelter Island, RKF Jr. paid tribute to all fallen service members by quoting his uncle, John F. Kennedy.

"The most important way for us to honor the men and women who gave their lives for our country is to protect the rights that they died to give us," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said that he is concerned Americans are in danger of losing some of those rights that are guaranteed under the Constitution.

"I feel like I am losing my country. I feel like my party has gone off the rails," Kennedy told CBS 8. 

"It's become the party of war, and the Democratic party was always skeptical about war," he added. "It's become the party of censorship, which is antithetical to the definition and tradition of liberalism."

Kennedy has garnered headlines over the years as a staunch anti-vaccine activist and a sharp critic of the pandemic-era lockdowns.

"The Covid lockdown... what they supported was a war on the poor, a war on minorities, ad this country really suffered deeply during that period," he said.  

He also told his audience Monday. that while the lockdown is over, he believes there is still cause for concern.

"They have not given up the power to impose those in the future," he said, "and we have now created in this country this very, very troubling precedent."

He also called for the return of the 'peace dividend, stressing the need to focus on the country's middle class, which he said is drowning in debt.

"We need to buttress the middle class and stop sending money abroad for wars," he told CBS 8. 

He also criticized the current administration for "spending money that we don't have."

"We're like an alcoholic who is behind on his mortgage and has taken the milk money to buy rounds for everybody, strangers at the bar," he added. "We don't have the money."

RFK Jr. spent decades as an environmental champion: something he says he would carry on to White House.

"I'm going to be the best environmental president in history.... preserving habitats, regenerative agriculture, stopping water pollution," he added. "We need to preserve something for our children."

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