Trump urges Libertarians to ditch their party and endorse him in raucous convention: ‘At least vote for me’

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WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump urged a raucous crowd of libertarian voters to ditch their party and endorse his re-election campaign Saturday night at their national convention, slamming the third party for only polling at “three percent.”

“Nominate me or at least vote for me,” he asked the crowd of Libertarian party and MAGA voters at the Washington Hilton. “We need your help. We need your support.”

“We’re going to have a lot of fun,” Trump said at the top of his speech, adding he “sure as hell” is a libertarian now after being indicted by the federal government and extended his “hand in friendship” to the third party.

Trump was met with cheers from MAGA supporters and was booed by some libertarians as soon as he went on stage. REUTERS

Trump’s remarks were met with a mix of chants to “lock him up,” boos, “we want Trump” and “end the Fed” throughout his remarks — and the crowd erupted in shouts when asked for the Libertarian Party’s endorsement.

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He tried to court the voters by listing off the ways he agrees with the Libertarian Party: “everyone here tonight believes in the same fundamental freedom of religion, freedom of the right to own a firearm and freedom taxation.”

He also made some concessions to the third party, promising he would put a libertarian in his Cabinet, securing crypto, and commuting the sentence of Silk Road dark web founder Ross Ulbicht to “down to time served” if he got into the Oval Office again — giving the libertarians one of their key requests.

Ulbicht has been serving life imprisonment since 2015 after being convicted of several crimes relating to his creation of the darknet website Silk Road, which sold narcotics and other illicit substances.

Libertarians held up “Free Ross” posters throughout Trump’s speech. REUTERS

Some libertarians believe in the web being free from government intervention, and many of those at the convention also believe in freeing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

The rumbles of protests began before Trump took the stage, with libertarians saying they would not be afraid to boo if they disagreed with the former president and MAGA supporters breaking out in chant while libertarian primary candidate Michael Rectenwald took the stage.

“We have a lot to teach Donald Trump. We don’t know if he has any capacity to learn. But we will give him the benefit of the doubt,” Rectenwald said before Trump’s speech and the temporary ruckus that ensued between the two groups of supporters.

Before Trump’s remarks began, rumors swirled that his speech was going to be interrupted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporters with rubber chickens donning the inscription “debate Bobby.”

Members of the Libertarian Party stand in chairs while chanting and demanding the release of Ross Ulbricht. Getty Images

Kennedy had challenged Trump to debate him at the convention, but the former president never publicly responded to the proposal.

The chickens were being handed out by American Values 2024, a super PAC supporting Kennedy, downstairs at the convention, but The Post spotted the rubber toys being confiscated by security when attendees went through the metal detectors.

The chickens never materialized during Trump’s speech, with the libertarian attendees choosing to shout instead.

“They can do what they want with them,” an AV24 rep told The Post, saying they are just handing the chickens out because Trump is “a chicken.”

MAGA supporters chanted “we want Trump!” to drown out the Libertarian protesters. Getty Images

Former 2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and 2020 libertarian party vice presidential candidate Spike Cohen were both booed when they mentioned Trump’s name in their speeches at their convention.

The libertarian courting comes off the heels of Trump’s rally in the deep-blue Bronx, reaching out to voters in Minnesota and his meeting with the Teamsters — which is all part of a “unity tour” to defeat President Biden in November, a Trump campaign official told The Post.

According to the Trump campaign, his appearance at the convention has “nothing to do” with independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — who fiercely attacked Trump from the same stage Friday afternoon — accusing him of allowing “the greatest restriction on civil liberties this country has ever known” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Libertarian supporter wore a flag saying “end the Fed.” Getty Images

Kennedy is “not even libertarian,” the Trump official said, calling him “far-left.”

Trump’s presence marks the first time a Republican party candidate has accepted an invitation to speak at the Libertarian convention.

Libertarian attendees at the convention told The Post they were “shocked” the former president accepted the invitation, but welcomed his presence, hoping he would bring attention to their party.

One libertarian attendee said Trump coming to the convention shows he needs their votes and is trying to “pander to us.”

The potential for boos were largely welcomed by libertarians The Post spoke to at the convention, as long as Trump was able to get his ideas out before too much rumbling began.

Trump spoke about his strategy of going to the convention at a National Rifle Association event last week, stressing that every voting block needs to be targeted to defeat Biden.

“We have to join with [Libertarians] because they get their 3% every year, no matter who’s running,” Trump said at the NRA event. “We have to get that 3% because we can’t take a chance on Joe Biden winning.”

Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen received 1.2% of the national vote in 2020. The party will vote for their 2024 candidate on Sunday.

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