Updated May 26, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump's longshot Libertarian nomination bid halted by party chair

Former President Trump speaks at the Libertarian Party National Convention on May 25, 2004.

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the Libertarian Party National Convention at the Washington Hilton on May 25, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former President Trump's longshot bid to be the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate came to an end Sunday after the party's chair determined he was ineligible.

The big picture: Trump spoke at the party's national convention on Saturday, where he faced boos and jeers during his speech, but still urged delegates to "nominate me or at least vote for me."

  • Trump and independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were both among the candidates nominated by delegates on Sunday, but Libertarian Party chair Angela McArdle determined the former president was ineligible as he didn't file the required paperwork, CNN reported.
  • Kennedy, however, accepted his nomination in a video message.
  • Both Trump and Kennedy's nominations received boos from some delegates, CNN said.

What they're saying: Trump posted Sunday on his Truth Social network: "The reason I didn't file paperwork for the Libertarian Nomination, which I would have absolutely gotten if I wanted it (as everyone could tell by the enthusiasm of the Crowd last night!), was the fact that, as the Republican Nominee, I am not allowed to have the Nomination of another Party."

  • "Regardless, I believe I will get a Majority of the Libertarian Votes."

State of play: Trump spent part of last week campaigning to voters outside his MAGA base, including a rally in the South Bronx.

  • The rally prompted pushback from some of Trump's critics, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who said she felt the former president was trying to "trick some of our folks here."
  • "What we see here is that former President Trump has been in court, he has mounting legal fees, and a lot of this is about covering the increasingly precarious financial situation that he's in," she said.
  • Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, praised the move Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," saying the campaign was "striking such a confident pose right now."
  • "It's a campaign unlike we've seen from other Republican candidates. I think it's pretty confident and they know, they know they're winning and they're trying to take advantage of that position," he said.

Context: Trump at times seemed surprised at the vocal reaction from the crowd during his speech.

  • Trump promised he would appoint a Libertarian to his cabinet if re-elected.
  • He also briefly mocked the party, asking "What's the purpose of the Libertarian Party of getting 3 percent? You should nominate Trump for president only if you want to win."

The other side: "If he thinks he is going to win our nomination, he's more delusional than I thought," Chase Oliver, one of the Libertarian presidential candidates said at a press conference Saturday after Trump's speech.

  • Editor's note: Updated with Trump post.
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