Sen. Tom Coburn said Thursday that the “lousy” tactics that Sen. Ted Cruz’s is employing as part of his campaign to defund Obamacare are dishonest and that Republicans most likely won’t be able to take President Obama’s health care law off the books until the Democrat is out of office.
Mr. Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, said that he is wrapping up his ninth year and that no one has a higher conservative ranking, but that he is now being painted as a sellout because of the unrealistic expectations that have been set by the Cruz-led push to reject any spending bills that include money for the Affordable Care Act.
“They have been totally misled about what’s possible,” Mr. Coburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “If I could change Obamacare, I would do it today. It is a disappointment that we have put a short-term goal with lousy tactics ahead of being honest with the American people.”
Mr. Coburn has been one of the most vocal critics of Mr. Cruz and his allies, who have called on Senate GOP lawmakers to do everything they can to stop funding for Obamacare — a strategy that Republicans critics say will push the government to the brink of a government shutdown and come back to haunt the party in coming elections.
During his 21-hour filibuster this week, Mr. Cruz called on lawmakers to not limit the debate on the bill that House Republicans passed over to the Senate and that includes a provision to defund Obamacare.
The Texas Republican, though, does not appear to have enough support to stop Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, from restoring Obamacare funding to the House bill.
“We need integrity and speaking the truth,” Mr. Coburn said. “I would love to get rid of Obamacare, but I don’t see a path forward to doing that until the president is out of office.”