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Trump, RFK Jr. to speak at the Libertarian Party Convention this weekend

Angela McArdle, the chair of the Libertarian National Committee, defended the decision and said it's about bringing more attention to the party.
This combination photo shows Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Posted at 9:17 AM, May 24, 2024

Libertarians believe in small government, limiting its influence in Americans' daily lives and cutting or eliminating taxes at "every opportunity." At this year's convention, party leaders say they want to challenge the status quo, and they're welcoming speakers from other political parties.

Former President Donald Trump and independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are both scheduled to speak at the convention. But not all Libertarians are happy to see the leader of the Republican party headlining their convention.

Former President Donald Trump sits for an interview.

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Angela McArdle, the chair of the Libertarian National Committee, defended the decision and said it's about bringing more attention to the Libertarian party. She also said it's part of the party's attempt to get on the presidential debate stage.

"President Donald Trump is coming to specifically address our grievances as Libertarians," she said. "Whether they're grievances with his administration in particular or government at large, he's coming to speak to our list of top 10 concerns."

President Joe Biden was also invited to speak at the convention, but McArdle says his team didn't respond.

Scripps News' Chance Seales and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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The country is marching toward a Trump-Biden rematch in November, but an April poll from Monmouth University found 60% of Americans aren't excited about it. It's unclear who those voters might support in November, and Libertarians are hoping they can be an attractive option.

"People are starting to recognize — people who are smart — that we are the most powerful voting bloc in the country, and we have the political power right now," McArdle said. "What Libertarians and independent voters do is going to shape the election in 2024."

Whoever does win the Libertarian nomination Sunday afternoon is still a longshot in the election. The 2016 candidate, Gary Johnson, pulled in 3% of the national vote, and 2020 nominee Jo Jorgensen only got 1%.

However, a third-party candidate could pull votes away from Trump and President Biden, and that can certainly impact who wins the White House in November.