RFK Jr. challenges Trump to debate at Libertarian Party convention

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is calling on former President Trump to formally debate him during the upcoming Libertarian Party convention.

Kennedy, an independent who considered joining the Libertarian Party after a failed primary bid as a Democrat, wants to take on Trump during the forum held later this month in Washington.

“I’d like to make you an offer. We’re both going to be speaking at the upcoming Libertarian convention on May 24 and 25,” Kennedy wrote in part in a lengthy post on X on Tuesday. “It’s perfect neutral territory for you and me to have a debate where you can defend your record for your wavering supporters.”

“You yourself have said you’re not afraid to debate me as long as my poll numbers are decent,” Kennedy wrote. “Well, they are. In fact, I’m the only presidential candidate in history who has polled ahead of both major party candidates in head-to-head races.”

Kennedy pointed to data from Zogby, a polling and analytics firm, indicating that the environmental lawyer wins the election over Trump in a two-candidate race, without factoring President Biden into the hypothetical matchup.

“So let’s meet in a couple of weeks and show the American public that at least two of the major candidates aren’t afraid to debate each other,” Kennedy added.

Kennedy has put pressure on both Trump and Biden to debate him in recent weeks, hoping to raise his stature and get on more equal footing with the mainstream presumptive nominees.

Republicans and Democrats are equally skeptical that a debate among two or more of the candidates with Kennedy will happen, noting Trump’s aversion to debating this cycle and Biden’s equally non-committal approach.

The Libertarian event could theoretically level the playing field for Kennedy and Trump as they each look to court voters who are considered harder to define by party and ideology.

While Kennedy has had several conversations with Libertarian  officials and leaders about his third-party bid, he ultimately opted out of switching parties again and says he’s committed to see his independent campaign through until he gets on 50 state ballots. His campaign counts 10 so states so far and anticipates adding more as new calendar deadlines approach.

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