FreedomFest Jump-Started Trump's Campaign. What Will FreedomFest 2016 Bring?

Political junkies and skeptics are still scratching their heads, wondering “How did this happen? How did Donald Trump take over the Republican Party?”

It may come as a surprise, but Trump’s luck began in July in Las Vegas. In the summer of 2015, Trump was in trouble with his fledgling campaign. After Trump’s unrehearsed remarks about Mexicans, his relationship with NBC ended, Macy’s failed to renew his contract, and Univision released unrelenting attacks on the Trump campaign. Poll numbers suffered in response, reflecting a campaign headed for certain demise.

Amidst the chaos of campaigning that summer, Trump agreed to appear before several thousand wealthy investors and concerned citizens at a conference called FreedomFest, billed as, “the world’s largest gathering of free minds.” He spoke to a “standing room only” audience on Saturday, July 11: 7-11 in Vegas. It was his lucky day. Trump’s appearance attracted major media coverage including CNN, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, and the Daily Mail, among others. Trump’s poll numbers rose sharply right after his appearance at FreedomFest and he dominated thereafter.

Gary Johnson to Address FreedomFest

Today, FreedomFest is pleased to announce that Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico and the new presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, will address FreedomFest at 5 pm Pacific Time, July 15, 2016, in that same lucky Celebrity Ballroom at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas where Trump secured his pivotal platform.

Johnson recently polled 10% support in two national polls, the Fox News May 18 Poll and The Morning Consult survey from May 19-23.  Many pundits consider him the first legitimate third party candidate since Ross Perot ran for president in 1992. As David French wrote for National Review, “Good news, disgruntled Americans: As you ponder whether to vote for one of the two most-disliked, dishonest, and morally corrupt politicians ever to run for president—Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — you just might have a third option. His name is Gary Johnson.”

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Why FreedomFest?

Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Inc., said it best, “FreedomFest is where the best ideas and policies are flushed out. I attend all three days and wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

What’s FreedomFest all about?  Everything!  Philosophy, history, science & technology, healthy living, politics and your money, and much much more. It’s a renaissance gathering in the entertainment capital of the world.

Once a year in July all the freedom lovers of the world gather in Las Vegas for FreedomFest, what the Washington Post calls “the greatest libertarian show on earth.” Produced by Mark and Jo Ann Skousen, FreedomFest has evolved into the signature networking event for American innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors. Steve Forbes and John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, are co-ambassadors of FreedomFest and attend all three days. Last July over 2,500 people traveled to Vegas to learn, network and celebrate liberty, including Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Steve Wynn, Peter Thiel, and Glenn Beck. Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow and former Wall Street Journal contributor Steve Moore even debated Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize economist and columnist at the New York Times. Want a summary? Watch the five-minute video at www.freedomfest.com/videos).

Who’s coming this year? In addition to Gary Johnson, FreedomFest 2016’s keynote speakers include U.S. Senator’s Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), radio hosts Larry Elder and Michael MedvedJudge Andrew Napolitano, TV host Kennedy from Fox Business, Charles Koch’s right-hand man Richard Fink, authors George Gilder and Steve Moore, the former heavy weight champion of the world, George Foreman, and boxing promoter extraordinaire Don King.

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In fact, FreedomFest is holding a special reception with George Foreman, who sold his grill business in 1999 for a reported $138 million. Attendees will get a chance to meet him, get a photograph taken with him, and have him sign a copy of his book, “Knockout Entrepreneur.”

This year’s big debate will be “Capitalism vs. Socialism:  Free to Choose or Free to Lose?”,  between John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, and John Roemer, Yale professor, Bernie Sanders supporter, and one of the top Marxist/socialists in the country. The debate is set for Thursday morning, July 14, in the Celebrity Ballroom, Planet Hollywood.

Other features include FreedomFest’s annual mock trial, moderated by talk show host Kennedy, with live coverage by C-SPAN entitled, “Global Warming on Trial”. The “most powerful man in Washington” according to CNN, Grover Norquist, will hold his famous “Wednesday Meeting” at FreedomFest 2016 and the “Women of Liberty” will also hold a special session not to be missed.

In the debate ring, FreedomFest is knocking out controversial topics. Spurred by popular opinion, FreedomFest’s spirited debates are full of “oh-no-they-didn’t” moments and truly “must see” events.

This year’s slate of debates continues the trend featuring top philosophers Dinesh D’Souza and Scientific American’s Michael Shermer tackling, “The Bible: The Good Book or Bad Theology?” Next up, Trump enthusiasts Wayne Allyn Root and Dan Mangru are set to debate #NeverTrump camp’s Jeffrey Tucker and Matt Welch in, “Trump Pro & Con: The YUGE Debate.” Things won’t get too out of hand in “the YUGE Debate”, as ReasonTV’s Nick Gillespie chimes in as moderator. Additionally, Biographer Lanny Ebenstein will debate economist Steve Moore in, “Should the Rich Pay a Progressive or Flat Tax?”

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Rounding out the featured debates, Conrad Black, persona non grata by the U. S. government, will debate via teleconference Robert Murphy, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal,” in a debate entitled, “FDR: Champion of Liberty?” And, Christina Tobin of Free & Equal Election will lead a provocative and rousing debate on the future of elections. Actor/activist Ed Asner, political commentator John Fund, and Richard Winger will join Christina to address the issue of, “Voter Access, Voting Fraud, and Gerrymandering: Can Democracy Work?”

Got a genius idea? Participate and pitch to win $25, 000 at the FreedomFest’s “Pitch Deck”, the entrepreneurial contest organized by Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington. FreedomFest also holds a three-day investment conference with Peter Schiff, Alex Green, Mark Skousen, and Keith Fitz-Gerald.

Wait, there is more! Do you enjoy free expression through the arts? Join other like-minded thinkers at FreedomFest’s Libertarian Film Festival. FreedomFest’s ever popular Anthem Film Festival, run by Jo Ann Skousen, is the only film festival dedicated to filmmakers who create short and full-length documentaries and narrative films based on Libertarian themes. This year FreedomFest is proud announce two of the featured films are produced by Gerald Molen, the producer of Schindler’s List.

Join all the freedom organizations and think tanks at FreedomFest 2016 including Cato, Heritage, Reason, Students for Liberty, Americans for Prosperity and more. Conference attendees can find them located conveniently in the gigantic exhibit hall, aptly named the “Trade Show for Liberty.”

There is so much more to experience at this year’s festival, in fact, there is nothing on earth quite like it. Oscar Goodman, former mayor of Las Vegas, calls it an “intellectual feast” in Las Vegas – one of a kind!”

FreedomFest will take place July 13-16, at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas. For more details, ticket information and full schedule, visit www.freedomfest.com.

Started in 2002 as FEE Fest, FreedomFest has evolved into the signature networking event for American innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors. FreedomFest is produced by Mark and Jo Ann Skousen. Mark is an economist and author, currently a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University and long-time editor of Forecasts & Strategies. Jo Ann Skousen teaches English literature at Chapman University and Mercy College, and is the director of the Anthem Film Festival.

To interview Mark and Jo Ann Skousen contact FreedomFest’s media relations coordinator, Amy Coombs, at 1-801-404-2627 or via email at media@freedomfest.com. For a press pass and for more information check out www.freedomfest.com or call 1-855-850-FREE (3733) Ext. 202. Special media rates are available. Don’t forget to watch our short video highlighting last year’s big show at www.freedomfest.com/videos.

 

Lincoln united his party and saved America from the Democrats for the first time. Can Trump—and we—come together and save America for the second time?

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