South Carolina's Jim DeMint initially the only senator who opposed passing a portion of President Obama's job's plan that gives businesses tax credits for hiring veterans. "I know what I am about to discuss won’t be very popular -- I'll probably be accused of not supporting veterans by the politicians pandering for their votes," DeMint said Thursday, according to the Air Force Times' Rick Maze. "But I am not going to be intimidated to vote for something that may make sense politically but is inherently unfair and it isn't going to work." This is new territory for the Tea Partying senator. DeMint used to love pandering to the troops. Or at least pandering using the troops.
On March 15, 2007, DeMint railed against Democratic legislation to pull troops out of Iraq within 120 days. "The political bickering emboldened our enemies," DeMint said, according to the Associated Press' Bruce Smith. Eleven days later, DeMint wrote an op-ed for the Charleston Post and Courier saying Democrats were trying to "retreat" from Iraq "a path of half-measures, timetables, and pork-barrel spending on the backs of our troops." He continued, "On one side, you have Democrats who appear intent on larding up an emergency spending bill with pork and political priorities for their base with the full knowledge that this will draw a veto. On the other side, you have the troops in Iraq who are now in danger of having a much-needed funding bill blocked because Democrats last the discipline to pass a clean bill." (The bill was not vetoed.) On May 30, 2007, The State featured the headline "DeMint Rips War 'Wimps'" and explained, "Sen. Jim DeMint on Tuesday blamed Democratic 'wimps' in Congress for American casualties in Iraq, and cited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for special censure."
DeMint eventually caved so the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 passed unanimously.