Libertarians Seeking 'True Conservatives'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - The Libertarian Party says its representatives were "very well received" by conservatives at a recent conference in Washington.

"We met a lot of people who are either supportive of our ideas or who simply support having an alternative to the big-government ideal put forward by the Republicans and Democrats," said Sam New, who organized the Libertarian Party's activities at the Conservative Political Action Committee Conference in Washington.

The Libertarian Party was a first-time cosponsor of the Feb. 17-19 CPAC Conference, and its involvement was a "big step forward" for the Party, said Executive Director Joe Seehusen in a report on the group's website.

"Our profile has been low for some time, and we were able to showcase our party in a positive light to many people and groups, including a large number of students and small business owners."

Seehusen, who considers President George W. Bush a socialist, said the Libertarians' support for limited government and appreciation for individual rights strikes a cord with many people who call themselves Republicans or conservatives.

"Many of them stopped by our booth to learn more," which is exactly why the Libertarians decided to take part in CPAC this year, he said.

The Libertarians believe they can appeal to "true conservatives" (as opposed to "big-government neo-conservatives") on a number of issues.

"By taking part in this CPAC conference, we hope to show that Libertarians are the true fiscal conservatives -- much more so than the Republicans are," Seehusen said on the Libertarian website.

He said the party is studying how successful groups market themselves, so the Libertarian Party "can more effectively reach out to conservatives" in the future.

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