Sen. Tom Coburn dismissed criticism from the conservative website RedState over his not joining a small group of GOP senators in an effort to defund Obamacare, saying that “no outside group’s going to push me around.”
“Oh, you can’t respond to the bloggers,” Mr. Coburn said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “One period in a six-month [span] I’m a hero and the next time I’m not, and the fact is unless you agree with them 100 percent of the time all the time, you don’t pass muster. So that’s a blogger on RedState I obviously can’t please … nobody’s put me in anybody’s camp other than my own. What we’re trying to do — nobody’s disagreeing with the goal; we’re just disagreeing with the tactics.”
Mr. Coburn, a staunch opponent of Obamacare, has vocally opposed the effort spearheaded by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to pledge not to vote for any spending bills that contain money to enforce or implement the law.
The Oklahoma Republican also said that any perceived split in the party over the matter has been overblown, pointing out that there are only about a dozen senators out of the entire GOP Senate conference supporting the particular tactic to achieve the goal that all of them want.
“It’s not that their motivations aren’t good — their motivations are right,” he said. “I’d love to gut Obamacare because it’s going to be terrible for the country in the long run, and it’s going to be terrible for patients and doctors. It’s going to be terrible for costs. But the fact is if you have a strategy, what you ought to do is build internally a support for that strategy and come to an agreement so that you have all the power of the Republicans working it, rather than have a small group of Republicans who then generate through outside groups pressure on other Republicans.”
“You start pushing me, all you do is get me to push back harder,” Mr. Coburn continued. “I know what I believe, and I know why I believe it. No outside group’s going to push me around.”