Trump taunts Libertarians after rough reception at party convention

Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald on

Published in Political News

Former President and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump made an appeal to Libertarian Party voters over the weekend that, despite its fairly historic nature, likely did not go as planned for the 45th President.

Trump joined the nation’s third largest political party for their national convention in Washington D.C. on Saturday, just a day after independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. addressed the group with somewhat mixed results, when the former president called on the party to back his second try for a second term.

“Everyone here tonight believes that we must fight for the same fundamental freedoms — freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of the right to own a firearm, and freedom from over-taxation,” Trump said.

Kennedy was nominated to potentially join the party’s presidential ticket, an “unexpected honor” he accepted. A party delegate tried to nominate Trump, the first former president to address the Libertarian National Convention in the party’s history, but the Republican was disqualified from nomination by party officials over his failure to file nomination papers.

His appearance at the event and direct appeal to the party members for their nomination or their vote, it’s fair to say, was not well received.

Ahead of Trump’s arrival, a party delegate made a motion “to go tell Donald Trump to go f*** himself,” which despite not being carried by a vote was met with loud applause.

Trump entered the convention floor to the sound of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” and singing fans didn’t quite manage to drown out the very audible displeasure of some delegates. When Trump did take the stage under the party’s “Become Ungovernable” event banner, he was met with loud jeers.

“I am truly honored to be invited here tonight as the first president in American history to address the Libertarian National Convention, great honor,” Trump said. Many in the audience responded with boos.

“MAGA = Socialists,” a sign held by one man read.

“In the last year, I’ve been indicted by the government on 91 different things. If I wasn’t a Libertarian before, I sure as hell am a Libertarian now,” he said. The audience responded with more boos.

“Combine with us, you have to combine with us. We cannot give crooked Joe Biden four more years,” Trump said. The audience booed.


So loud and frequent was the booing that Trump was forced to stop speaking several times.

Trump’s reception wasn’t entirely terrible. There were times when his supporters among the party managed to lead in the crowd in a “we want Trump” chant, and the audience responded with applause when he said he would commute the prison sentence of Ross Ulbricht.

Ulbricht was arrested in 2013 in connection with his creation of the dark web site known as Silk Road, which the Department of Justice demonstrated was used to move illegal drugs and involved in human trafficking. Ulbricht, 40, was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 over a long list of charges including narcotics distribution, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and computer hacking crimes.

Many Libertarians believe that all drugs should be made legal. Trump told the crowd, many of whom carried “Free Ross” signs, that if he’s elected, he will commute Ulbricht’s sentence on the first day of his second term.

The former president also received applause when he promised “that I will put a Libertarian in my cabinet, and also, Libertarians in senior posts” and when he proclaimed “to the nation‘s 50 million crypto holders, I say this, with your vote I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your Bitcoin.”

When Trump said again the Libertarian Party, should nominate him or at least cast their votes for him this November. The audience loudly booed.

“Whoa! That’s nice. That’s nice,” Trump said, clearly taken aback.

They should nominate him, “only if they want to win,” he told them next, attempting to speak over their displeasure.

“If you want to lose don’t do that — keep getting your 3% every four years,” Trump said. The audience booed the 45th President some more.


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