How dare he say nice things about Nancy Pelosi? I guess the Tea Party will turn on him next:
One of the Senate’s most conservative members defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and criticized Fox News in audio released Tuesday.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) spoke at a recent town hall meeting that was taped by KGOU Radio.
When discussing the short-term unemployment benefit extension that he is stalling, to the chagrin of Democrats, Coburn said he is “180 degrees in opposition” to Pelosi but that “she is a nice lady.”
That comment drew boos and jeers from the crowd, but Coburn asked the crowd for calm and spoke about civility.
“Come on now. She is nice – how many of you all have met her? She’s a nice person,” Coburn said. “Let me give you a little lesson here. I hope you will listen to me. Just because somebody disagrees with you dodn’t mean they’re not a good person. And i want to tell you, I’ve been in the senate for five years and I’ve taken a lot of that, because I’ve been on the small side –- both in the Republican Party and the Democrat Party.”
The Oklahoma senator is seen by many as a divisive figure.
A physician, he is known as “Dr. No” for his penchant to grind the legislative process to a halt.Democrats have put him in the spotlight the last few weeks, saying that because he stalled the benefits extension, 200,000 unemployed lost their federal assistance starting Monday. But Coburn says he wants the benefits package funded before it passes.
To underscore his point about civility, Coburn formed a friendship in 2004 when he joined the Senate with then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who was also a freshman at the time.
After an audience member suggested that the government could jail people for not buying health insurance under the new healthcare law, Coburn said “that makes for good TV news on Fox but that isn’t the intention.“