June 21st, 2010
09:14 PM ET
4 years ago

Coburn declines to criticize Obama admin., Limbaugh

Sen. Tom Coburn declined to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his insistence that the administration's pressure on BP amounted to a 'shakedown'.
Sen. Tom Coburn declined to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his insistence that the administration's pressure on BP amounted to a 'shakedown'.

Washington (CNN) - A respected conservative senator, who is often critical of the Obama administration, declined Monday to criticize the administration's pressuring BP to establish a $20 billion escrow fund to help victims of the oil spill.

At the same time, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, declined to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his insistence that the administration's pressure on BP amounted to a "shakedown."

Coburn spoke to CNN Chief National Correspondent John King during an interview that aired on John King, USA.

Coburn was asked about Limbaugh's repeating that the $20 billion fund was a "shakedown." The conservative talk-radio host took aim at Republican leaders for rushing to demand that Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, retract his controversial apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward during last week's congressional hearing.

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Filed under: BP • JKUSA • John King USA • Tom Coburn
April 7th, 2010
04:44 AM ET
4 years ago

Coburn defends Pelosi, takes swipe at FOX

Coburn warned citizens not to 'catch yourself being biased by Fox News.'
Coburn warned citizens not to 'catch yourself being biased by Fox News.'

(CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - a lightning rod among opponents of the recent health care legislation - is being defended by an unlikely source: Conservative Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn.

Coburn is a fierce opponent of the health care bill but told participants at a recent town hall in his home state that Pelosi is a "nice lady" who deserves to be treated with civility.

"Come on now, she is a nice - how many of you all have met her?" Coburn said to groans from the crowd. "She is a nice person. Let me give you a little lesson here, I hope you will listen to me. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn't mean they aren't a good person."

The comments, first reported by Capitol News Connection and recorded by local NPR station KGOU, strike a markedly different tone than that adopted by the Republican National Committee, which posted a large "Fire Pelosi" banner on its Web site last month and pictured the House Speaker amidst balls of fire.

Coburn spokesman John Hart confirmed the comments and said he believed they came during a March 31 event in Oklahoma City.

In the same town-hall, Coburn reiterated his opposition to the health care legislation but warned town-hall attendees to be wary of information they receive about the bill on Fox News.

"What we have to have is make sure we have a debate in this country so that you can see what's going on and make a determination yourself," he said. "So don't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody is no good. The people in Washington are good. They just don't know what they don't know."

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Filed under: Tom Coburn
April 6th, 2010
08:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Coburn defends Pelosi, takes swipe at FOX

Coburn warned citizens not to 'catch yourself being biased by Fox News.'
Coburn warned citizens not to 'catch yourself being biased by Fox News.'

(CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - a lightning rod among opponents of the recent health care legislation - is being defended by an unlikely source: Conservative Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn.

Coburn is a fierce opponent of the health care bill but told participants at a recent town hall in his home state that Pelosi is a "nice lady" who deserves to be treated with civility.

"Come on now, she is a nice - how many of you all have met her?" Coburn said to groans from the crowd. "She is a nice person. Let me give you a little lesson here, I hope you will listen to me. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn't mean they aren't a good person."

The comments, first reported by Capitol News Connection and recorded by local NPR station KGOU, strike a markedly different tone than that adopted by the Republican National Committee, which posted a large "Fire Pelosi" banner on its Web site last month and pictured the House Speaker amidst balls of fire.

Coburn spokesman John Hart confirmed the comments and said he believed they came during a March 31 event in Oklahoma City.

In the same town-hall, Coburn reiterated his opposition to the health care legislation but warned town-hall attendees to be wary of information they receive about the bill on Fox News.

"What we have to have is make sure we have a debate in this country so that you can see what's going on and make a determination yourself," he said. "So don't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody is no good. The people in Washington are good. They just don't know what they don't know."

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Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • Tom Coburn
February 27th, 2010
10:39 AM ET
5 years ago

Coburn: Republicans 'have a different vision for reform'


Washington (CNN) - Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, delivers this week's Republican address. Coburn, who is also a doctor, discusses the GOP's proposals for health care reform and the need for more bipartisanship in Congress.

(Full transcript of Coburn's remarks after the jump)

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Filed under: GOP • Health care • Popular Posts • Tom Coburn
November 11th, 2009
05:03 AM ET
5 years ago

Senators seek to limit congressional service

'Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians,' Sen. Jim DeMint said in a statement.
'Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians,' Sen. Jim DeMint said in a statement.

Washington (CNN) - A handful of Republican senators have proposed a Constitutional amendment to limit the amount of time a person may serve in Congress.

Currently, there are no term limits for federal lawmakers, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and several of his colleagues are advocating that service in the Senate be limited to 12 years, while lawmakers would only be allowed to serve 6 years in the House.

"Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians," DeMint said in a statement released by his office. "As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power."

Two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to approve the amendment - a stumbling block that short-circuited the idea 14 years ago. The new proposal echoes the Citizen Legislature Act, part of the original Contract with America proposed by Republicans before they won control of Congress in 1994. That measure, which would have allowed both senators and members of the House to serve just 12 years, won a majority in the Republican-controlled House in 1995, but failed because it did not meet the constitutionally-required two-thirds threshold.
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Filed under: Congress • GOP • Jim DeMint • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Sam Brownback • Tom Coburn
November 10th, 2009
07:59 PM ET
5 years ago

Senators seek to limit congressional service

'Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians,' Sen. Jim DeMint said in a statement.
'Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians,' Sen. Jim DeMint said in a statement.

Washington (CNN) - A handful of Republican senators have proposed a Constitutional amendment to limit the amount of time a person may serve in Congress.

Currently, there are no term limits for federal lawmakers, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and several of his colleagues are advocating that service in the Senate be limited to 12 years, while lawmakers would only be allowed to serve 6 years in the House.

"Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians," DeMint said in a statement released by his office. "As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power."

Two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to approve the amendment - a stumbling block that short-circuited the idea 14 years ago. The new proposal echoes the Citizen Legislature Act, part of the original Contract with America proposed by Republicans before they won control of Congress in 1994. That measure, which would have allowed both senators and members of the House to serve just 12 years, won a majority in the Republican-controlled House in 1995, but failed because it did not meet the constitutionally-required two-thirds threshold.
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Filed under: Congress • Extra • GOP • Jim DeMint • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Sam Brownback • Tom Coburn
August 13th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Coburn: Controlling health care costs may fall to patients

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who is also a doctor, held a town hall meeting Thursday.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who is also a doctor, held a town hall meeting Thursday.

(CNN) – Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, at a town hall meeting Thursday in Muskogee, said he predicts much of the responsibility in controlling health care costs will fall upon patients.

Coburn, one of two doctors in the Senate, is against the current draft legislation in the House.

"If you want reform for reform's sake and it doesn't control the costs, what you are going to do is cut everybody's wages in this country because any dollar that goes into health care is a dollar that doesn't go into your pocket," he said.

He also called for "a true competitive market with transparency and access for everybody," adding: "There is a disconnect between the purchase of health care and the payment of health care, whether it's Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance."


Filed under: Health care • Tom Coburn
July 15th, 2009
01:02 PM ET
July 9th, 2009
02:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Coburn: 'I will never reveal' what I told Ensign

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Tom Coburn - who confronted fellow Sen. John Ensign in an effort to convince him to end an extramarital affair - denied allegations Thursday he'd suggested Ensign pay off the husband of the woman he was having an affair with, telling reporters on Capitol Hill that he would not berevealing the content of his conversations with the Nevada senator:

Reporter: At no point did you suggest payments be made?

Coburn: A categorical (denial) is exactly what I just said.

Reporter: But you denied millions, did you suggest payments at all?

Coburn: I categorically deny that, period.

Reporter: But do you deny that you were there at the February 2008…

Coburn: I was there.

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Filed under: John Ensign • Tom Coburn
July 8th, 2009
10:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Report: Senator tried to stop colleague's affair

The husband of Sen. John Ensign's former mistress says another senator tried to intervene to stop Ensign's extra-marital affair, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
The husband of Sen. John Ensign's former mistress says another senator tried to intervene to stop Ensign's extra-marital affair, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn was part of a group of Washington-based intermediaries that confronted fellow Sen. John Ensign in an effort to convince him to end an extra-marital affair, according to a report published on the Web site of the Las Vegas Sun.

Doug Hampton, the husband of Ensign’s former mistress, spoke publicly for the first time about the affair in an on-camera interview with Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston to be broadcast on his show on LasVegasOne.

Doug Hampton worked in Ensign’s Senate office, while his wife, Cynthia, was an employee of Ensign’s political action committee and reelection campaign.

In an effort to try to end the affair, Hampton told Ralston he reached out to a group of “intermediaries involved in a Christian fellowship home in Washington, D.C.,” the Sun reported. The group “confronted Ensign and suggested that the Hamptons needed to be given financial assistance – in the millions of dollars – to pay off their $1 million-plus mortgage and move them to a new life away from Ensign,” according to the Sun’s report.

In a statement given to CNN and the Sun, Coburn spokesman Jon Hart said the Oklahoma Republican tried to intercede to put an end to the affair.
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Filed under: John Ensign • Popular Posts • Tom Coburn
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