Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, made statements regarding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, whch left a number of individuals scratching their heads. At a Town hall meeting last week, he told a woman she was misinformed about the health care mandate after she stated the government could “put us in prison” for not having health insurance. “The intention is not to put anybody in jail,” he responded. “That makes for good TV news on Fox but that isn’t the intention.”
Mr. Coburn told me today that he “didn’t say Fox News had a bias.” “I said, you need to look at both sides of an issue,” he explained.
Additionally, Mr. Coburn, who opposed the Democrats health care bill, defended Speaker Pelosi at the town hall saying, “I’m 180 degrees in opposition to the speaker — she’s a nice lady,” he said. The town hall crowd’s response was negative to this statement. Mr. Coburn stood by his remarks today, when I asked him about it.
“Come on now, she is a nice — how many of you all have met her?” Mr. Coburn insisted to town hall attendees. “She’s a nice person. She’s a nice person.”
“Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re not a good person,” he continued and explained his own experience of being vilified in the media. He told the crowd to not “catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody’s no good.” “The people in Washington are good,” he said. “They just don’t know what they don’t know.”
Fellow Republican and Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, however, made a statement contradicting Mr. Coburn. During an interview with KFAQ radio in Oklahoma, Mr. Inhofe said, “There’s nothing nice about Nancy.” He continued, “She disagrees with everything we believe.”
I asked Mr. Coburn about his thoughts on Mr. Inhofe’s remarks, but Mr. Coburn failed to elaborate much only saying that he and Mr. Inhofe have not spoke to one another about the issue. “Well, we’ll just have to disagree,” said Senator Coburn.