Gingrich’s leadership ‘lacking,’ says Sen. Coburn
December 4th, 2011
02:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich’s leadership ‘lacking,’ says Sen. Coburn

(CNN) – A conservative Republican on Sunday openly balked at the idea of a Newt Gingrich presidency, basing his qualms on the former House Speaker’s leadership while in Congress.

“I’m not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich, having served under him for four years and experienced, personally, his leadership,” Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn told “Fox News Sunday."

Coburn said he often found Gingrich’s leadership “lacking” in Congress, but he declined to provide specifics.

Gingrich has surged to the top of national polls for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but hasn’t yet won over Coburn.

“I will have difficulty supporting him as president of the United States,” Coburn said.

Also see:

Gingrich carefully navigates Cain exit

Iowa newspaper backs Romney

Candidates react to Cain campaign suspension

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Tom Coburn
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. cigarman

    I never did like Coburn, but maybe he has more common sense that I have been giving him credit. He is right about Newt, listen up you crazy Republicans, Newt will never beat Obama if he gets the nomination. Romney is the only one running that has even half a chance, and that is very slim.

    December 4, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    I remember Newt's 4 years as Speaker. He concentrated all authority in his office, ran over an republican who stepped out of line, and brought us Tom Delay as his House Whip. Of the 10 points in his Contract with America, exactly two made it out of committee, and both died on the first vote. When the Christian Right, as it was known then, went bonkers over Monicagate, Newt ran to the front of the line to shred the President. He passed several opportunities for advantageous compromise and held out for impeachment. He got it, it died in the Senate, and the Republicans got creamed in the '98 election. Facing his first loss of power, he quit. Yeah, this guy would make a great president.

    December 4, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. politics as usual

    Regarding the previous post: For a historian, Gingrich certainly is into revisionist history!

    December 4, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Paul VanDevelder

    This is to rich...Coburn is a certifiable nut job in the freak show called the Republican party. This is a man who should be brought up on criminal stupidity charges for maintaining that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the left. Makes you wonder exactly who are these people in Oklahoma who would elect a monster like this.

    December 4, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Chazz5519

    I just love ALL the public display of the Rebuplican Family's disfunctionality. I'm waiting for The Tea Party to turn in the towel completely and state, I GIVE UP! Just go on an elect that "birther" dude one more time, "its better than anything we have to offer." :)~

    December 4, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Tired of the nonsense

    "Gingrich" and "leadership" are contradictions in terms.

    December 4, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen. Coburn should have added the other major flaw suffered by Gingrich: a lack of character.

    December 4, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Larry L

    Again... Fox News. The Pravda of the Republican Party. They never have the courage to hold a discussion if actual analysis is likely to occur.

    December 4, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. AlaskaPalin

    New newt is good newt. Romney is a stiff; he cannot beat obama. With all his flaws there is still something rejuvenating about the newt. He will energize the electorate. He is polar opposite to the do nothing 'no drama'. Newt will get america working again. He will get things done. He appeals to the anti obama in one. He of all the candidates seems ready and willing to take on the billion dollar chicago; tug style; political machine- take it on with overwhelming force and watch it go down in a tsunamial defeat.

    December 4, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Lee

    Feel the Newtmentum people!

    Mitt Romney had NO reason to be President, no soul, no ideas he doesn't constantly flip-flop, except for his "inevitability". Now that this is gone, there's nothing left to Romney other than an empty suit, magic under wear, and superbly coiffed and colored hair.

    December 4, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Nygard1

    It is really interesting to read how all the lefties now all of a sudden love Sen. Coburn without taking the the time to understand why Sen. Coburn has a problem with Gingrich. To Sen. Coburn NOBODY is far enough to the right and he just absolutely hates the fact that Newt Gingrich can articulate a conservative view, which does not include all the desires of the ultra-religious, ultra-conservative bible-belt folks.

    Note to Sen. Coburn: A lot of us conservatives do not believe that the Federal Government needs to resurrect the abortion debate – leave Roe vs. Wade alone. Also, we can live with immigration solutions, which have some provisions for well-behaved, long-term immigrants to stay. Lots of illegal immigrants have spent a life time working hard to take care of their families while keeping their noses clean, and we do need to recognize the value they have brought to society.

    The fact that Gingrich occasionally stood up to the ultra-religious, ultra-conservative bible-belt folks does not make him a bad leader.

    December 4, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Larry L


    "With all his flaws there is still something rejuvenating about the newt."
    Flaws? Cheating on his wife while she fought cancer, while he led the charge against Bill CLinton! Dishonored by the House of Representatives for ethics violations. Sold his influence for 1.6 million dollars while working as a slimey lobbyists. These are not "flaws" – this is proof that the man is dishonorable and dishonest to the core. Those of you who support him must sacrifice any standards for morality. Is the hatred you developed for the President enough to give up your own sense of values?

    December 4, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. AlaskaPalin

    After three years of naivity and inexperience its time for wise and mature leadership. We see in newt someone with inside knowledge of how to make the system work and getting results. The american people wanted results and obama could not deliver.

    December 4, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Dixie AZ

    I don't love Coburn, but what he says about Newt is right.

    December 4, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. X-factor left...!

    Newt politically savvy...perhaps but..Dependability makes for Stability and exudes confidence in the Populace...
    Newt Gingrich lacks both "Dependability and Stability" he demonstrated of late since his so-called surge in the polls.
    "It ain't over yet Newt" Remember with all the going-ons the Populace is angry and fickle...very fickle.....!

    December 4, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Bushper

    No rational person will believe Newt can mount any serious challenge to our great President Obama given Newt's Ethical and Moral baggage. Only time will expose the hypocrisy of the conservative evangelicals. We see.

    December 4, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Keith in Austin

    So why not ask Coburn how he likes serving under Bozo Hussein Obama? The gist of your story would paint a much more realistic story CNN. Nice try though! You're so obvious!

    December 4, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    anyone is better then obama , i dont care who it is, this is avote against obama , not for a republcan,

    December 4, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. pete

    Ron Paul the only qualified candidate for president. Happy days are here again !

    December 4, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Bushper

    Remember Newt as speaker you were forced to resign: you paid $300000 fine due to ETHICAL issues: you cheated on your dying wife and have been married more times than the KING OF TIMBOKTU. Now that's FAMILY VALUES" GOP style.

    December 4, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Justin L

    Newt we still remember the 90's. If the GOP runs this guy it will be political suicide!!!

    December 4, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
1 2