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Coburn on GOP’s Obamacare Strategy: ‘No Outside Group Is Going to Push Me Around’

Okla. Sen.: GOP needs unified strategy to address Obamacare

• August 1, 2013 9:03 am

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Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) pushed back against criticism from some conservatives over his unwillingness to sign onto efforts to use a government shutdown threat to repeal Obamacare Thursday on "Morning Joe."

Coburn emphasized that he believes wholeheartedly Obamacare is terrible policy and will have disastrous long term consequences for the country, but he does not see a government shutdown as a tenable option for Republicans.

Congressional Republicans, Coburn said, need to have a unified strategy in opposition to Obamacare rather than a divided approach endorsed by a faction of Republicans and some outside groups:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: But there certainly is criticism that your colleagues can't seem to find unity on issues, what –

TOM COBURN: Mika, that's not true. I mean, you have 11 Republican senators out of 46. That means 35 don't agree with the strategy. So the press loves to say there's a division. Sure, there's 11 senators with some outside groups behind them to try to promote a strategy that in my, you know, 65 years of life think is a pregnant strategy that will deliver nothing other than pain. And not be successful. And so, you know, it's not that their motivations aren't good. Their motivations are right. I'd love to gut Obamacare. Because it's going to be terrible for the country in the long run. 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 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 Pepublicans. My attitude and Joe knows this, Mike Barnicle knows this, you start pushing me, all you do is get me to push back harder. So, you know, I'm kind of like — Mike said he'd been the father of a minor child for 50 years. I've been a minor child for 50 years. I'm just now getting mature. And the fact is I know what I believe and I know why I believe it and no outside group's going to push me around.

Full interview:

Published under: Congress, Obamacare, Tom Coburn, Video