Donald Trump to Libertarian convention: ‘Maybe you don’t want to win’

Former President Donald Trump told Libertarian National Convention delegates that “maybe they don’t want to win” as he was met with boos when asking for the party’s support during an unprecedented speech Saturday night.

Trump, the first former president to address the Libertarian convention in its 50-year history, consistently asked delegates for their vote in the general election during his speech. He also told the party’s members that they should choose him as their presidential nominee when they make their pick on Sunday.

“But only do that if you want to win. If you want to lose, don’t do that,” Trump smiled and said to the crowd. “Maybe you don’t want to win. Keep getting your three to four percent [in the general election] every year.”

The presumptive Republican nominee told the crowd, if elected as president in November, that he would appoint Libertarians to his “cabinet and senior posts.”

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to address the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, DC, May 25, 2024.

AFP/Getty Images

“Pretty good,” Trump said as he scanned the room, seemingly trying to coax the crowd in his favor.

But even that statement was met with loud, mixed reviews as Trump supporters in the crowd were mostly drowned out – throughout the speech – by the skeptical Libertarian delegates.

Trump received his biggest cheer of the night when he promised to commute the sentence of deep web market mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving a life sentence for the illegal marketplace, “Silk Road,” which people used to buy and sell drugs, among other illegal goods and services.

Many of the delegates carried and held up signs that read “Free Ross.”

Trump’s campaign told the Associated Press that his appearance at the convention was meant to court voters who might otherwise support independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who addressed the Libertarian convention on Friday.

Polls continue to show that most voters do not want a 2020 rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden. That could potentially boost support for an alternative like the Libertarian nominee or Kennedy.

Throughout his speech, Trump looked to appeal to Libertarian voters.

He told the crowd that he would abolish the Department of Education and the “deep state.” He insisted that he would stand for Second Amendment rights.

He even told the estimated crowd of 1,000 at the Washington Hilton at the beginning of his speech that he, himself, was a Libertarian due to his criminal trials that are being prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

Trump told the crowd that he’d come “to extend a hand of friendship” in common opposition to Biden. That led to a chant of “We want Trump!” from his supporters, who were drowned out by boos and chants of “End the Fed!” — often used by Libertarians who oppose the Federal Reserve.

This is a developing story that will be updated with additional information.