Sen. Tom Coburn says Obama missed chance to lead in fight against terrorists

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Sen. Tom Coburn said the Obama administration should have led rather than responded to public opinion when it came to its decision to pull troops out of Iraq.

Mr. Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, said that the nation should have left a residual force in Iraq and that it needs someone who can explain to voters the importance of stopping Islamic terrorism from spreading across the Middle East.

“Because ultimately it is going to land on our shores if we don’t,” Mr. Coburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Real leadership is doing the right best thing for the country even when the public isn’t with you — trying to win you over and suffering the consequences if you didn’t but still doing the right thing. And we have have not done that.”

Mr. Obama campaigned in 2008 on the promise to end the war in Iraq.

“We are going to have one of two things: Either we are going to have Americans put at risk again because we didn’t leave a residual force there,” he said. “We are either going to do that or a lot of people are going to die, and you are going to see this continuing worsening conflict throughout the Middle East.”

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