Libertarian convention crowd appears hostile to Trump ahead of Saturday speech

Vivek Ramaswamy was booed when he mentioned Trump, while a convention-goer who called for "Donald Trump to go f--- himself" was met with widespread applause.

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump is used to warm welcomes by loyal supporters at speaking events on the campaign trail.

This weekend might be different.

Trump is set to deliver a speech Saturday at the 2024 Libertarian National Convention, and if Friday night’s program is any indication, he could be facing a hostile crowd.

Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who quickly endorsed Trump after dropping out, was booed during his convention remarks Friday night when he mentioned Trump.

“I’m speaking to you as a libertarian at my own core. I have gotten to know Donald Trump over the course of the last several years and the last several months,” Ramaswamy said as many in the crowd booed in response.

Ramaswamy continued, urging the audience of about 100 to ask themselves if they wanted to influence the next administration.

Separately, as Libertarian party members reviewed procedures and motions, a person at a microphone proposed that “we go tell Donald Trump to go f— himself.”

The audience cheered and roared with applause.

“That was my motion too!” another man yelled. “We are a Libertarian convention looking to nominate Libertarians. We do not need to give that time to non-Libertarians.”

Behind the two men, a third chanted, “F— Donald Trump.”

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crowd’s sentiments toward the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Several voters watching speeches at the convention, where independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke, said they were disillusioned with both major political parties.

Avi Rachlin, a 22-year-old Michigan voter, said he cast a ballot for Trump in 2020 but plans to vote for the Libertarian candidate in November.

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“People say that a third party vote is a wasted vote. You’re voting for the other team,” Rachlin said on Friday. “And I don’t see it that way. I think it sends a strong message of disapproval with the current contenders for both offices.”

John Burke Stringfellow, a Virginia voter who said he backed Trump in 2016 and then President Joe Biden in 2020, said he thought a rematch between the two candidates is “terrible.”

“I say ditch the rematch and go for a three match,” he said.

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