Trump to follow RFK Jr. at Libertarian Party Convention

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump It plans to use an address Saturday night at the Libertarian National Convention Robert F. Kennedy Jr

Libertarians will choose a White House nominee during a convention in Washington that ends Sunday. Kennedy, who first ran in the Democratic primary, gave a speech The conference is on Friday.

Polls have shown most voters for months. Even most Democrats, He doesn’t want a rematch between Trump and the Democratic Party in 2020 Joe Biden. That dynamic could boost support for a libertarian candidate or an alternative like Kennedy, whose candidacy Biden and Trump allies worry could be a spoiler.

In 2016, when Trump was challenging Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received about 3% of the national vote. In the 2020s, party candidate Joe Jorgensen got just over 1% Close competition.

Peter Kotler, president and chief executive of the libertarian Cato Institute, suggested in a Washington Post column published this week that Trump’s convention call violates the core values ​​of the group and that “the political party pretending to be libertarian has shifted to a different identity.”

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Trump’s campaign says his appearance is part of an effort to win over supporters in places where Republicans don’t have many. For example, he conducted a Thursday’s rally in the Bronx During a stopover in his New York Quiet money inquiry. His team expected some to oppose Trump at the convention, but hoped he would get credit for fighting for votes.

Trump supporters also cheered him on Saturday night. About two hours before the former president took the stage, Libertarian organizers asked large groups of people in the audience, many of them wearing red “Make America Great” hats and T-shirts, to fill the seats near the stage, lining up to vacate the first four.

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Conference delegates did so — many of whom said they traveled from across the country and bought expensive tickets to the proceedings — so they could sit close enough to hear the speech. Many of the people in the original seats moved, but organizers eventually brought in more seats to accommodate the demand adjacent to the stage.

Before Trump began speaking, emancipation delegates approved a variety of topics they hoped he would address, including calls for the release of the jailed WikiLeaks founder. Julian Assange and promote “peace not war”. Other topics they wanted to hear at a traditional Republican rally overlapped, including “abolish the deep state” and “protect the Second Amendment.”

The Libertarian ticket will try to draw support from disaffected Republicans and leftists who oppose government overreach. Such voters could also gravitate toward Kennedy.

Kennedy Citing his record Fighting for the middle class against powerful interests. He’s also trying to win over conservatives who want to see the national GOP move away from Trump.

Kennedy’s anti-vaccination activism It has appealed to some on the right Opponents of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He also suggested that some of the pro-Trump rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, were involved. The case may have been prosecuted for political reasons.

Trump has previously praised Kennedy and once considered him one-on-one Commission on Vaccine Safety, but has now changed his tune. He suggested on social media that a vote for Kennedy would be a “wasted anti-vote” and that he would “even take Biden over Jr.”

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Trump, while in office, referred to the COVID-19 vaccine as “one of the greatest miracles in the history of modern medicine.” But the former president now says, if elected, he “wouldn’t give a dime” to public schools and universities mandating a Covid-19 vaccine. He also accused Kennedy of being a “fake” opponent of vaccines — efforts that could boost Trump’s support among some in his base who might consider switching to Kennedy.

In his speech at the Libertarian Convention, Kennedy charged Trump and Biden have trampled on personal liberties in response to the epidemic that has swept through their presidencies. Trump bowed to pressure from public health officials and closed businesses, Kennedy said, while Biden was wrong to force vaccinations on millions of workers.

Biden, meanwhile, encouraged the endorsement Several high-ranking members of the Kennedy family, In an attempt to sideline their relative’s candidature.

Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for Biden’s re-election campaign, blasted Trump and top Republicans for opposing access to abortion and supporting limits on civil society, saying in a statement Saturday, “Freedom is not free in Trump’s Republican Party, and this weekend will be. One more reminder of that.”

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