NEW YORK, NY (September 8, 2016) — Moments after Gary Johnson made news on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with his comments on Aleppo, IAVA’s Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff met with Governor Gary Johnson in-person and repeated IAVA’s invitation for him to join IAVA veterans for its ongoing IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum series. Rieckhoff told Johnson that veterans were encouraged to see he had finally added a veterans section to his website in the last week. He and Johnson also discussed the disconnect between the candidate and some activists on how to respectfully approach having this important dialogue.
IAVA issued an initial #IAVAForum series invitation to Governor Johnson on September 1, 2016.
“It was great to talk with Governor Johnson again this morning. I reiterated IAVA’s interest in continuing the Commander-in-Chief conversation started last night with him,” said Rieckhoff. “Last night’s IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum was an historic night. The candidates were finally forced to confront critical issues facing our community, including veteran suicide and military sexual assault. Many questions remain unanswered and we hope to continue that conversation, not just with the major Party candidates, but other candidates like Johnson who also believe they’re ready to be Commander-in-Chief.”
Similar to a conversation they had on the phone last week, Johnson also apologized for the threatening and unprofessional tactics some of his supporters have used to express displeasure with their candidates exclusion in major debates. As a non-partisan organization – with an extremely politically diverse membership – IAVA is deeply committed to expanding the public conversation about the issues facing veterans with any viable candidate for President as often as possible.
“We appreciated Governor Johnson’s apology for the harassment IAVA staff and offices have experienced from some claiming to support his campaign. He understands that IAVA provides critical services and programs to thousands of veterans every single day and committed to finding a date soon for a nationally-broadcast event.
“His comments today on Morning Joe underscore the need to dive deeper into the issues he and call candidates would confront if elected President,” continued Rieckhoff. “IAVA looks forward to hearing more from Governor Johnson and all the candidates of all parties on matters of national security and veterans.”
For more on IAVA’s first invitation and Rieckhoff’s earlier conversation with Governor Johnson, click here.
Note to media: Email email@example.com or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.