Boos Abound as Trump Misjudges The Crowd at Libertarian Convention 


While Trump rallies tend to draw large crowds of cheering supporters, he seriously misjudged his welcome at one event and was treated to “boos” for his decision to go where he was not wanted.  

In an attempt to pull the coveted Libertarian vote to his side, Trump made an unfortunate decision to appear at the Libertarian party convention at the Washington Hilton. He may have been welcomed by some supporters sporting Trump gear and chanting the USA, but he isn’t generally well-liked among the Libertarian crowd. 

Libertarians, prioritizing small government and individual freedoms, have often criticized Trump. His invitation to the convention sparked division within the party, with some arguing that welcoming a candidate opposed to Libertarian values and running for another party would divert attention from Libertarian candidates and causes. Others supported the invitation, believing Trump’s presence would attract media attention to the convention. 

There were enough boos for everyone, however, as entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy found out when he took the stage and tried to rally support behind the former president. 

At first, Trump tried to joke with the crowd by saying that his four indictments had made him a Libertarian. The joke fell flat, however, and Trump may have offended the voters he was trying to influence when he said, “Maybe you don’t want to win …  Keep getting your 3% every four years.”  


Chants of “End the Fed!”—a popular slogan among Libertarians who oppose the Federal Reserve—began to echo. Meanwhile, a person holding a sign that read “No wannabe dictators!” was escorted out of the venue. 

Trump continues to talk over the boos, vowing to appoint Libertarians to his administration and promising a pardon for Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road. Ulbricht faces a life sentence because his website was used to traffic drugs, although Ulbricht himself never sold illicit substances on the site. It’s a critical issue for Libertarians who believe the case against Ulbricht was governmental overreach, which Trump is familiar with personally. 

A flurry of emails erupted ahead of Trump’s doomed visit to the Libertarian convention, with one requesting an emergency meeting to cancel Trump’s appearance a few hours before he was scheduled to take the stage. The email seemed to warn of potentially bad optics, with the writer suggesting Trump’s portion of the program be canceled “unless the room is cleared” before he took the podium. 

It was good advice, especially considering that even before the event, reports indicated that the Libertarian Party’s delegates repeatedly “booed” whenever the former president’s name was mentioned. 

A few hours before Trump’s arrival, Libertarian organizers requested Trump supporters in the crowd to vacate the first four rows to allow convention delegates, who had just returned from selecting their preferred Libertarian candidate, to sit closer to the front. Although several Trump supporters initially resisted, they eventually moved, and organizers brought in more seats. 

Sensing it was his time to shine, Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., made his move before the Libertarian crowd; he lumped Biden and Trump together, accusing them of violating personal liberties during the coronavirus pandemic. He claimed Trump succumbed to pressure from public health officials, such as former White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci, leading to business shutdowns. He criticized Biden for mandating vaccines for millions of Americans in the workforce. 

However, RFK Jr. did not secure the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, which instead went to Chase Oliver for the 2024 presidential election. Oliver, a 38-year-old gay man from the Atlanta suburbs, won the nomination after a contentious convention, prevailing on the seventh round of balloting with 60.6% of the vote.  

Initially running second in each of the first five rounds, Oliver’s passionate message of liberty resonated with delegates, and he vowed to continue spreading that message to self-identified libertarians and those who may not yet realize they align with libertarian principles. 

The Mises Caucus, a right-leaning faction that took control of the Libertarian Party in 2022, had preferred another candidate, Michael Rectenwald, who led the field with 28.2% in the first round but ultimately lost to Oliver.  

For Trump, who typically pulls in cheering crowds of thousands, it was a humbling experience and even more painful on the heels of his wildly successful rally in the deep blue Bronx last week. But while Trump may feel the sting of boos, he will not let it derail the campaign.  

Hopefully, it gave him just a hint of humility moving forward.