Coburn: Relationship with Obama 'cooler'

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says his relationship with President Obama has become “cooler” over the last few years despite forging a bond with him in the Senate.  

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Coburn was asked whether his relationship with the president has changed.

“Oh, it’s a little cooler because I’ve been a little harsher. But I still write him notes and talk to him occasionally,” he said.

Coburn added “it’s cordial, friendly. I actually really like the guy — I mean, as a person. I don’t like his policies, but I like him as a person.”

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The Republican senator said he had hoped Obama would be a different kind of Democrat. He thought Obama would pursue policies “for the best interest of the country, not the best interest of the Democrat[ic] Party.”

"I really had hopes that he would do that. And he hasn’t. And I understand how hard that is,” Coburn said.

The Examiner asked Coburn if he is disappointed Obama hasn’t prioritized fixing the debt in the way he wanted him to.

“I think he's made three big mistakes,” Coburn replied.

First, Obama has surrounded himself with like-minded people, Coburn said. Second, his approach on healthcare was wrong, and third, the president didn’t embrace Bowles-Simpson’s deficit-reduction recommendations, Coburn added. 

Coburn, 65, announced last month he will retire from Congress at the end of the year. He’s currently battling cancer and is serving his second term in the Senate. 

--This post was updated with corrected information at 4:15 p.m.