Coburn objects to 'cut and paste' job on DHS nominee's questionnaire
Sen. Tom Coburn
November 13th, 2013
03:10 PM ET
4 months ago

Coburn objects to 'cut and paste' job on DHS nominee's questionnaire

Washington (CNN) - There was a heated exchange at the confirmation hearing for Homeland Security Secretary designate Jeh Johnson, but it had nothing to do with questions over his qualifications or politics, but rather questions over his questionnaire.

"I'm extremely disturbed by the responses to the questionnaire," Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said in his opening statement. "Either the legislative staff or the White House has cut and pasted identical answers to 23 questions in your response. Identical responses to that of other nominees."


Coburn blamed the duplication on staff and not Johnson himself.

Johnson made commitments to provide some information to the committee and said he was inclined to provide other information but would have to look into the matter.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, pressed Johnson for a commitment to provide specific information on border security.

"I'm inclined to give you what you need," Johnson responded.

"I'm not asking about your inclination. I'm asking for a yes or no answer," McCain shot back. When Johnson would not provide one, McCain said he could not support Johnson's nomination.

Despite McCain's objections, Johnson, a former Pentagon lawyer, is widely expected to be confirmed. He would be the fourth secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, replacing Janet Napolitano who stepped down to head the University of California System earlier this year.


Filed under: Homeland Security • Tom Coburn
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. thinking outside the box

    So what if they did? The republicans cut a pasted bills to de-fund the ACA a bajillion times.

    November 13, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. just saying

    lies are always easier when cut and paste is used i guess! egads, how lazy can these people be?! ok course they want to 'work' (wink,wink) for the government!!

    November 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    What's next? His haircut, or where he bought his suit?

    November 13, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    More political brinksmanship. Is McCain on the Lindsay Graham train even after the CBS interview turned out to be false? This is nothing but a spectacle by the neocons.

    November 13, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. just asking

    just vote all these clowns down. this administration needs to fire some of its current incompetents before they get new incompetents.

    November 13, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what mc Cain or the GOP says, do what's best for the country. The hell with the GOP kangroo court!!!!!!!

    November 13, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @just saying: "lies are always easier when cut and paste is used i guess! egads, how lazy can these people be?! ok course they want to 'work' (wink,wink) for the government!!"

    From the monotone hater and poster just saying, no less. Pot meet kettle!

    November 13, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    Only in America do voters (GOP tea bags) elect to government people who profess to hate government and want to get rid of it.

    Would anyone go to a doctor who tell you his/her goal is to kill their patients? Would anyone hire a plumber who is hellbent on destroying your pipes? Would anyone hire an arsonist to house-sit while you're on vacation?

    It's just sick ... and the GOP tea bag voters are even sicker ...

    November 13, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Bill from GA

    I can remember when Dick Cheney got the oil companies to write his environmental regulations.
    Oops, I meant W's environmental regulations.

    November 13, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    What was the question and what was the answer? How about a little real reporting, CNN? If the question was, "Are you a citizen of the United States?" and the 23 identical answers were, "Yes, I am a citizen of the United States." then what's the problem?

    If the answer provides truthful information, who the heck cares if it is worded identically?

    Boy, these repubs have reached a new low in obstruction tactics ... what's next? Sir, I object to you wearing pants just like all the previous nominees!

    November 13, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Bill from GA: "I can remember when Dick Cheney got the oil companies to write his environmental regulations.
    Oops, I meant W's environmental regulations."

    And the NRA wrote (or at least vetted) all the language in the Tiahrt Amendments (which were named for their original sponsor, U.S. Representative Todd Tiahrt, R-KS).

    As a reminder, these amendments are provisions attached to federal spending bills that make it harder for law enforcement officers to aggressively pursue criminals who buy and sell illegal guns.

    Coburn didn't have a problem with THAT.

    November 13, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    What about Grover Norquist famously saying to the CPAC crowd in February 2012 about Romney:

    "All we have to do is replace Obama. ... We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. [...]

    Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared."

    Coburn didn't have a problem with THAT.

    November 13, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    You know, CNN, it's obvious you like to spark controversy (and clicks) by posting articles with catchy headlines.

    For this one, I'm betting you would have gotten just as many clicks and comments if it had read:

    "Coburn Acts Like a Jerk During Confirmation Hearing"

    FIFY

    November 13, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "If the answer provides truthful information, who the heck cares if it is worded identically?

    Seriously, lawyers do it all the time when answering interrogatories. Same objections over and over, same info, same answers, "please see number ___" over and over. CNN most likely deliberately failed to report on the substance of the questions and the substance of the repeated answers because they knew that doing so would highlight that Coburn's tantrum was just showboating, which wouldn't make for a good Teatroll red meat bait article and wouldn't potentially feed into any nontroversies.

    November 13, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    -ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @just saying: "lies are always easier when cut and paste is used i guess! egads, how lazy can these people be?! ok course they want to 'work' (wink,wink) for the government!!"

    From the monotone hater and poster just saying, no less. Pot meet kettle!
    ********************************
    Just Saying must be a Rand Paul fan.

    November 13, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |