EXCLUSIVE: President Trump’s re-election campaign plans to launch a coordinated effort to recruit and connect veterans as part of its ongoing effort to target specific voter blocs, Fox News has learned.
The “Veterans for Trump” coalition will train volunteers to help build support for Trump in the veteran community. The grassroots effort is similar to other targeted outreach efforts by the Trump campaign, including “Women for Trump” and “Latinos for Trump."
“The VA MISSION Act, Forever G.I. Bill, and a commitment to veteran’s job training have made a generational impact for the men and women who have served,” said Brad Parscale, Trump campaign manager. “The era of empty promises is over. President Trump is keeping his word to America’s veterans.”
The campaign also touted Trump’s reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs and record low unemployment rate among veterans as evidence the administration's policies are working for them.
“Veterans are leaders in business, government, church, and our communities; and now we need to lead again to support a President who has repeatedly delivered for us,” said Jeff Landry, the attorney general of Louisiana and the co-chair of Veterans for Trump.
Other co-chairs of the group include former VA Secretary Anthony Principi, former fighter pilot Scott O’Grady, and Jessie Jane Duff, who is also on the advisory board of “Women for Trump.”
Veterans voted for Trump by a 2-to-1 margin in 2016 and that support has held strong. A Pew Research poll from September found that 57 percent of veterans approve of the way Trump handles his duties as commander in chief and 48 percent say his policies have made the military stronger.
However, the recent troop withdrawal from Syria has left some veterans feeling uneasy about the president’s leadership. Members of Congress who are veterans voiced their concern about the president’s decision.
“As a guy that served in the military and really got into politics because I believe in the role America plays, to see this yet again, you know, leaving an ally behind, abandoning people that we frankly told that we were going to be with is disheartening, depressing," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier this month. Kinzinger served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and is a current lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.
Trump next week will become the first sitting president to attend the New York city Veterans Day Parade. Doug McGowan, chairman of the Veterans War Council, made the surprise announcement on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.
Veterans have invited every sitting U.S. president to the parade for the past 25 years, but Trump is the first to commit to an appearance.