Libertarians Name 2024 Pick As Trump Says He Could’ve Won Nomination If He’d Wanted

The Libertarian Party on Sunday announced that its delegates selected Chase Oliver to lead them into the 2024 presidential election while former President Donald Trump claimed he would have “absolutely” won the party’s nomination if he’d wanted it.

Oliver welcomed the news in a post on his account on X, formerly Twitter.

“There is no better unifying ticket in this party than this one. It’s time to unify and move forward for liberty,” Oliver, a party activist who previously ran for Congress from Georgia, wrote.

The announcement came at the conclusion of the Libertarian Party’s national convention in Washington, D.C., which grew tense at times, including during Trump’s speech on Saturday, which was met with boos.

“You should nominate me or at least vote for me,” Trump told the audience.

“Only do that if you want to win,” he continued. “If you want to lose, don’t do that. Keep getting your 3% every four years.”

Libertarian candidates have struggled to get traction in elections, as demonstrated by the results of the 2020 presidential race, when Jo Jorgensen, the party’s candidate, got just over 1% of the vote.

Still, Libertarians could play a role in critical swing states that could determine the outcome of the 2024 race, prompting Trump’s decision to address the convention.

Libertarian Party Chair Angela McArdle announced Trump had not filed the required paperwork, making him ineligible to seek her party’s nomination.

“But he was nominated, and it’s nice to be nominated,” McArdle added.

Trump explained the move in a post on his Truth Social platform Sunday.

“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,” Trump wrote.

His attendance at the convention was also seen as a move to court voters who might back Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kennedy, running as an independent, also addressed the crowd Friday and got a warmer reception than the former president, according to The Associated Press. Kennedy has been trying to trying to secure ballot access in more states and grow his base as he is racing to meet the requirements to join the upcoming CNN presidential debate next month.

Getting the Libertarian Party’s nomination would have helped him advance that goal. While Kennedy was nominated, he was quickly eliminated in the first round of voting.

Still, he appeared to welcome the development.

“What an unexpected honor to wake up this morning to a groundswell in the Libertarian Party seeking to nominate me,” he said Sunday.

“I would have accepted the nomination if offered because independents and third parties need to unite right now to reclaim our country from the corrupt two-party system,” he continued.

Kennedy had previously told CNN he had no plans to seek the party’s nomination.

Trump has said he would be open to debating Kennedy, while President Joe Biden’s campaign has suggested they would only be open to a one-to-one debate between the two major candidates.