Coburn says he's talked to Obama about importance of reaching deficit deal

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has met with President Obama privately to discuss Gang of Six discussions on compromising on a deficit-reduction plan, the senator said Thursday.

Coburn did not provide details on his talks with Obama or say when they last spoke about the bipartisan group of six senators trying to craft legislation from the recommendations of Obama's debt commission.

Coburn made the comments on MSNBC in response to a question about whether he has met with Obama on the importance of finding a compromise on a deficit-reduction package.

"Yes," Coburn said. "I don't discuss my conversations with the president publicly. Most of them are on personal relations rather than policy, but we've had a couple of discussions."

Coburn and the other five senators have been in negotiations for roughly six months now, and their failure so far to produce a deal has led to some pessimism over their progress.

The Gang of Six is only one group trying to reach a deal to reduce the nation's deficits. 

More recently, Vice President Biden has begun meeting with a separate group of legislators in the hopes of coming up with a deficit-reduction compromise. Biden's group meets again on Thursday.

Coburn and other GOP senators are headed to the White House on Thursday for a meeting with Obama.

Coburn is known to have been a friend of the president's starting when then-Sen. Obama (Ill.) first came to Washington.

More in Senate

Senate fails to reach deal on trade amendments

Read more »