Trump Attends Libertarian Party Convention

[Lance W. Haverkamp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Libertarians have long been a finicky bunch and on Saturday, Donald Trump learned that the hard way. 

Reuters writes that “Presidential candidate Donald Trump was booed and heckled by many in a raucous audience at the Libertarian National Convention on Saturday night, a marked change from the adulation he receives at rallies from his fervently loyal supporters.

Libertarians, who believe in limited government and individual freedom, blame Trump, a Republican, for rushing through the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine when he was president and for not doing more to stop public health restrictions on the unvaccinated during the pandemic.

When Trump took to the stage in Washington, there were loud boos and jeers. A smaller section of the crowd, Trump supporters, cheered him.”

Unlike Biden, who has been doing everything to move to his left to keep them in the fold, Trump has been reaching out to several different groups in order to build a broader coalition. According to Fox News, Trump made some promises to the freedom-loving party of little government in an effort to bring them into the fold. 

To win over the Libertarians, Trump said he would release “limited government so that the people can have an unlimited future.” He promised that “United we will be unstoppable. If we unite, we are unstoppable.”

At times Trump mocked the Libertarians in the audience telling them: “Only endorse me if you want to win.” 

“If you want to lose, don’t do that. Keep getting your 3% every four years,” Trump said, before pledging to include a Libertarian in his cabinet.  

Trump’s campaign said his appearance is part of an ongoing effort to reach would-be supporters in places that are not heavily Republican. For example, he held a rally Thursday in the Bronx during a pause in his New York hush money trial. His team was expecting some at the convention to oppose Trump, but hopes he will get credit for showing up and fighting for votes.

As always, Trump did not mince words:

In the 2016 presidential election, the Libertarian Party performed notably well, with its candidate former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson securing over 4.4 million votes, amounting to 3.27 percent of the popular vote. This was a significant increase from previous elections and marked the highest vote total for a Libertarian presidential candidate in the party’s history. Johnson’s campaign benefited from widespread voter dissatisfaction with the major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, drawing attention to libertarian principles of limited government and individual liberty.

In the 2020 presidential election, the Libertarian Party’s performance saw a decline. Candidate Jo Jorgensen received around 1.9 million votes, or 1.18% of the popular vote.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been working to secure their nomination in his effort to be on the ballot in all 50 states. 

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