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Sharron Angle Distances Herself From Previous Comments on Government Benefits

Sharron Angle

Sept. 23: Nevada Republican candidate for senate Sharron Angle greets supporters after answering questions at a candidate forum in Las Vegas. (AP)

LAS VEGAS -- In a dramatic shift, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle says she won't privatize Veterans Affairs, dismantle Social Security or dismiss unemployment benefits as welfare.

Angle addressed some, but not all, of the many political attacks against her in an interview with a conservative radio show host Saturday before a crowd of supporters in Las Vegas.

During the wide-ranging chat, Angle distanced herself from her previous comments on government benefits. For example, she had said Veterans Affairs should move toward a privatized system and not cover prescription drugs; cited Chile's privatized Social Security program as a model for the United States; and called for reduced unemployment benefits.

Angle is in a tight race against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.