Latest News 28-05-2024 12:33 19 Views

Libertarians select Chase Oliver as presidential nominee, very little support shown for Trump, RFK Jr

The Libertarian Party nominated political activist Chase Oliver as its nominee for president at its convention Sunday, rejecting former President Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s long-shot bids for the party’s nomination.

Oliver secured the nomination in the seventh round of voting after sitting in second place for the first five rounds. He received nearly 60% of the vote in the final round, finally clearing the 50% threshold required for victory, with his final opponent being the ‘none of the above’ option.

The last candidate to challenge Oliver was professor-turned-podcaster Michael Rectenwald, who was eliminated in the sixth round after leading in each of the first five rounds. Oliver overcame Rectenwald in the final two rounds after candidate Mike ter Maat was eliminated in the fifth round and endorsed Oliver in exchange for being named his vice presidential choice.

‘I will continue to bring a hopeful and positive message of liberty to both those who consider themselves libertarian and those who don’t know they are libertarian yet,’ Oliver said in his victory speech.

According to the party’s platform, libertarians value small government and individual freedoms. They tend to oppose war and funding other nations’ wars, the War on Drugs, the death penalty, spying on Americans, taxes, running up the federal deficit and pandemic lockdowns while supporting gun rights, LGBTQ+ rights, freedom of expression and other freedoms that do not infringe on the rights of others.

Trump, who is the GOP nominee for president, delivered a speech Saturday night at the Libertarian convention in Washington, D.C., where he was repeatedly booed by some members in attendance.

The former president did not qualify for the Libertarian nomination, and he received very few write-in votes on Sunday — just six in the first round.

Following Trump’s speech at the convention on Saturday, Oliver said: ‘I don’t like having a war criminal on this stage.’

Kennedy, an independent presidential candidate who had sought the Libertarian nomination, received a more welcoming reception when he spoke at the convention on Friday, hitting both Trump and President Biden for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke of his support for the Libertarians and said an endorsement could have helped him expedite the process of gaining ballot access in all 50 states.

The independent White House hopeful received just 19 votes in the first round of voting at the convention on Sunday.

Nominee Oliver, an activist from Atlanta, Georgia, is calling for major cuts to the federal budget with the goal of balancing the budget, the end to the death penalty, the closure of all overseas military bases and the ending of military support to Israel and Ukraine amid their respective wars.

He has also said he would pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who the Trump administration indicted, as well as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and anonymous marketplace website Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.

Oliver forced a runoff in the 2022 Georgia Senate election between Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and former football star, Republican Herschel Walker. He also previously ran for the U.S. House.

His victory Sunday night delivered a blow to the Mises Caucus, the right-leaning faction that took control of the Libertarian Party at its convention two years ago. The Mises Caucus, which supported Rectenwald, had orchestrated Trump’s appearance at the convention.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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