The Washington Times - January 5, 2013, 06:56PM

Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, part of the congressional freshman class of 2012, said Saturday the acrimony between the two parties starts as soon as new members arrive at the Capitol — but he’s trying to do something about that.

“So often we draw the line between Republican and Democrat and say, ‘Hey look, we’re not going to work with you because you’re a Democrat, we’re not going to work with you because you’re a Republican. That started during freshman orientation,” the Oklahoma Republican said in an interview on MSNBC.

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“During freshman orientation, we didn’t do hardly anything together. How are you supposed to be able to work with someone if you haven’t ever even talked with someone, you haven’t found out where they go to church, you haven’t found out what they do for a living.”

Asked if he had personally done anything to bring the partisan divide, Mr. Mullin said, “Absolutely,

“I walked up to everyone I could and shook their hand … one time I went over and got on the Democrat bus. And you know I sat down and had a long conversation with other business owners over there. We got along great.”

The 35-year-old Republican, who owns Mullin Plumbing, said he’s a conservative, but he’s not an idealogue.

“What we need to do is drop the labels ‘Republican’ and ‘Democrat’ and do what’s best for the country,” he said.