Michele Bachmann retreats from cutting war veterans' benefits

Maybe it was while she was jetting between Oahu and Maui for "district work" that Michele Bachmann realized cutting war veterans' benefits was a tone-deaf response to the nation's budget deficit. But she got the message, and today she announced she wouldn't put a $4.5 billion squeeze on "our nation's war heroes."

That's not what she said the other day in Honolulu--home of the Pear Harbor memorial.

The Civil Beat was there to hear Bachmann defend herself by saying there were no sacred cows when it came to getting the country out of the red, and that "we need to be willing to start the conversation."

Bachmann: Losing hearts and minds in the military. Click to enlarge.
Bachmann: Losing hearts and minds in the military. Click to enlarge.

Veterans groups have bombarded her office with complaints since she first floated the idea, and their leaders denounced her loudly in the press.

"No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress," said Richard L. Eubank, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"It is unconscionable that while our nation is at war someone would even think of forcing our wounded warriors to sacrifice even more than they already have," said David W. Gorman, executive director of the Disabled American Veterans.

She's also taken a shellacking on the DAV Facebook page.

Today, she backed down.

"The problem of government spending must be solved, but not on the backs of our nation's war heroes," she said. "In the months ahead I look forward to working with our Veterans Service Organizations to ensure that we fulfill our commitments to those who sacrificed so much in their brave service for our country."

On to the next target.

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