June 13, 2024

Former President Donald battled through boos, heckling and outbursts Saturday night as he sought support from Libertarian voters. 

The presumptive Republican nominee was the first former president to ever address the Libertarian National Convention, a group that will be picking their own presidential nominee this weekend as they gather in D.C. at the Washington Hilton.

But neither Trump nor his supporters were well received. Members of the crowd booed the former president, several turned their backs on him and they screamed over his pleas to have the Libertarians join the Republicans to beat President Joe Biden

‘Now I think you should nominate me or at least vote for me because the Libertarians want to vote for me and most of them will,’ Trump yelled over a mix of boos and cheers. 

The crowd signaled its mood early on. Vivek Ramaswamy, an ardent Trump supporter, was booed on Friday night when he spoke about the former president, trying to convince the Libertarian faifthful that Trump was their best choice for president.

‘Do I agree with 100% of his policy positions? No,’ Ramaswamy said. 

‘But do I believe that he is the best chance? Who’s gonna be the president? It’s gonna be the Democratic nominee of the Republican nominee. I think Donald Trump is unambiguously…

He was cut off by the booing crowd. 

‘I mean, come on,’ Ramaswamy replied.

Ramaswamy, who has long claimed to be libertarian if not part of the Libertarian Party, was booed again when he said the only way to ‘save this country’ is with a ‘libertarian-nationalist alliance.’

Former President Donald battled through boos, heckling and outbursts Saturday night as he tried to ask Libertarian voters for their support

A man dressed in a drag outfit that resembled Princess Leia's get-up unfurled a sign that read 'No Wannabe Dictators!' and was later removed by security

A man dressed in a drag outfit that resembled Princess Leia’s get-up unfurled a sign that read ‘No Wannabe Dictators!’ and was later removed by security 

A homemade 'MAGA + Socialist' sign is held by an attendee at this weekend's Libertarian National Convention as former President Donald Trump speaks

A homemade ‘MAGA + Socialist’ sign is held by an attendee at this weekend’s Libertarian National Convention as former President Donald Trump speaks 

Libertarians hold strong beliefs about individual and civil liberties and free choice. They believe in even smaller government than Republicans, but are less focused on lower taxes than the GOP

Ahead of his speech, Trump spent time backstage meeting with Afroman, the rapper responsible for the 2000 hit, Because I Got High. 

Several hours before Trump arrived, the head of the party asked that party delegates get the front seats, while the MAGA crowd was asked to head further toward the back. 

That meant his most boisterous supporters had to shout over the front of the audience, who were more likely to boo. 

As he continued to get interrupted Trump felt more comfortable taunting the crowd. 

‘Keep getting your three percent every four years,’ the ex-president said.  

‘What is the purpose of having the Libertarian Party getting three percent?’ Trump asked – pointing out that the party hasn’t been successful historically in presidential races. 

‘That is why I’m committing to you tonight that I will put a Libertarian in my Cabinet and also Libertarians in senior posts. That’s pretty big,’ the Republican ex-president said. ‘Or you could keep going the way you have for last long decades and get your three percent and meet again and get another three percent. 

‘You want to make yourself winners. It’s time to be winners,’ he said. 

A mix of boos, cheers and outbursts followed.  

Vivek Ramaswamy was booed at the Libertarian National Convention when he mentioned Trump

Vivek Ramaswamy was booed at the Libertarian National Convention when he mentioned Trump

Prior to delivering his speech, Trump aide Margo Martin posted a picture of the former president (left) meeting with rapper Afroman (right) backstage

Prior to delivering his speech, Trump aide Margo Martin posted a picture of the former president (left) meeting with rapper Afroman (right) backstage 

A Libertarian National Convention attendee gives a thumbs down as former President Donald Trump speaks at the Washington Hilton Saturday night

A Libertarian National Convention attendee gives a thumbs down as former President Donald Trump speaks at the Washington Hilton Saturday night 

A supporter of former President Donald Trump held up a sign reading 'Let Trump Campaign' as other members of the Libertarian crowd booed and interrupted the ex-president

A supporter of former President Donald Trump held up a sign reading ‘Let Trump Campaign’ as other members of the Libertarian crowd booed and interrupted the ex-president 

Trump argued that he was one of them.

‘Well in the last year I had been indicted by the government on 91 different things, so if I wasn’t a Libertarian before I sure as hell am a Libertarian now,’ Trump said. ‘I don’t like Joe Biden, I don’t throw people in jail for disagreeing with me.’ 

He added together that they were against ‘a government that spies on political campaigns.’ ‘I wonder who that might be? Like they did on me,’ Trump said. 

‘The right to freedom has never been more in danger than they are right now. That is why I have come to extend a hand of friendship to ask for your partnership to defeat communism, to defeat Marxism and defeat Crooked Joe Biden, who is destroying our country,’ Trump said. 

The MAGA factions of the crowd started a ‘we want Trump!’ chant. 

‘Joe Biden’s radical left Democrat Party is a fascist movement who wants to throw you in jail if you post a meme they don’t like,’ the ex-president continued. 

‘Joe Biden is a threat to democracy,’ Trump also said – a charge Biden consistently makes when referring to the Republican. 

One of the attendees at the Libertarian National Convention Saturday who turned his back during former President Donald Trump's speech

One of the attendees at the Libertarian National Convention Saturday who turned his back during former President Donald Trump’s speech 

An attendee at the Libertarian National Convention Saturday gives a thumbs down during former President Donald Trump's speech at the Washington Hilton in D.C.

An attendee at the Libertarian National Convention Saturday gives a thumbs down during former President Donald Trump’s speech at the Washington Hilton in D.C.

Trump pledged to stop ‘Joe Biden’s crusade to crush crypto.’ 

‘I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from bitcoin,’ he added. ‘And I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency.’ 

Trump also promised to free Ross Ulbricht, who is serving life in prison for his creation of the darknet website Silk Road. 

Throughout this weekend’s convention, Libertarians held up signs that read ‘Free Ross,’ as part of this cause. 

‘And if you vote for me on day one I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht,’ Trump proclaimed, getting one of the loudest cheers of the night. 

More than an hour before Trump was set to take the stage, the Libertarian and MAGA forces in the room were already warring – shouting down Republican Sen. Mike Lee as he tried to list off some of the ex-president’s more Libertarian-leaning accomplishments. 

At the same time, attendees were drinking – as bars, which took drink tickets, were set up all around the room. 

The motto of this year’s Libertarian National Convention is ‘become ungovernable.’ 

The crowd took it to heart – with several members of the group, including one who appeared to be dressed as a drag Princess Leia, being dragged or chased out by members of security. 

‘A lot of people ask why I came to speak at this Libertarian Convention. It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?’ Trump said at the top of his speech with a laugh, as the boos had already begun. 

‘Well, we’re going to have a lot of fun,’ the ex-president added.