Trump will speak at the Libertarian National Convention as he woos independent voters

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump will speak at the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, D.C., later this month as he tries to woo voters outside the Republican base and avoid endorsing support for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. loses.

“Libertarians are among the most independent and thoughtful thinkers in our country, and I am honored to join them in Washington, DC, later this month,” Trump said in a statement issued Wednesday. “We must all work together to help advance freedom. and freedom for every American, and a second Trump administration will achieve that goal.”

He continued with his argument: “If the libertarians join me and the Republican Party, where we have a lot of libertarian views, the election won’t even be close. We can’t have another four years of death, destruction and incompetence. WILL WORK TOGETHER AND WIN!”

The event comes as Trump’s campaign has stepped up its attacks on Kennedy, who is running as an independent candidate against Trump and President Joe Biden after dropping his Democratic primary. Kennedy has appealed to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans looking for an alternative to the upcoming rematch of the 2020 election.

Kennedy has expressed his support for the Libertarian Party, telling CNN in January that he had a “very good relationship” with the party. A Kennedy alliance with the Libertarian Party could accelerate his efforts to gain access to elections in all 50 states, including battlegrounds that could be decided by narrow margins in November, although Kennedy told ABC last month he had no intention to go on the Libertarian ticket.

On Wednesday, the primary super PAC supporting Trump aired an old video clip of Kennedy that appeared to show him criticizing red states. “RFK hates you!” they wrote on X, formerly Twitter. Kennedy’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Although Trump has publicly insisted that he believes Kennedy’s candidacy will hurt him less than Biden, he has grilled him in interviews and on his social media platform.

“RFK Jr. is by far the most radical left candidate in the race,” he wrote on Truth Social last month, calling Kennedy “a big fan of the Green New Scam and other economic disasters.”

Trump campaign aides also went after him on social media on Wednesday, calling him “a radical left-wing lunatic,” and accusing him of saying, “Every ‘conservative’ or ‘Republican’ lets this left-wing lunatic onto their platform to celebrate his decades of to condone condoning. -left liberal positions & activism helps Joe Biden.”

The Libertarian Party said in a press release announcing the speech that it will share a list of its top 10 issues with Trump ahead of the convention, “in hopes of having an impact on the policy positions of a past and possibly future president.”

“For 50 years we have been trying to get our candidates on the main stage with POTUS candidates from the major parties and we finally succeeded in getting one on our stage,” Angela McArdle, chair of the party, said in a statement. We will do everything in our power to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to spread the message of freedom.”