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Michele Bachmann invokes Thatcher in veterans speech

September 01, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
(Tom Olmscheid / Associated…)

Is the candidate with the "titanium spine" comparing herself to the Iron Lady? Michele Bachmann drew a connection with Margaret Thatcher in a speech to a veterans group today, praising the resolve of the former British prime minister along with another GOP icon, Ronald Reagan.

"It took two very strong leaders on the world stage, one a woman and one a man, to reverse the course of their respective countries," Bachmann said at the American Legion convention in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota congresswoman equated the Iranian hostage crisis, resolved after Reagan took office, to Thatcher's handling of the Falkland War, saying, "We should heed the lessons that they hold for dealing with those who seek to wreak havoc on peace and on democracy across the world today."

Bachmann, known for her "tea party" credentials and less for any foreign policy heft, was equating the world those leaders confronted with the present day, while attacking President Obama as "leading from behind."

Bachmann also criticized the incumbent president, who addressed the same group this week, for using military pay as a "scare tactic" during the debt ceiling fight.

"Our armed services will never again be political pawns," Bachmann said.

Asked by a reporter after the speech whether she modeled herself as a modern-day Thatcher, Bachmann said, "Both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher contributed mightily to restoring the economic greatness of the nation during their respective time periods."

"We're in a similar time period and we need to have strong viable leadership to see that return again today," she said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Both with military and with our economy, they are both tremendous examples."

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