Sen. Coburn defends friendship with Obama

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said he tries to keep a good relationship with President Obama so that he can have "an influence" with the president.

"I want to try to be able to have an influence on Barack Obama because he's still our president," Coburn said Saturday according to The Oklahoman. "He's not just their president; he's our president. He is the president — that office matters.

"You have no idea the tough conversations I've had with him and my disagreements," Coburn continued. "Nobody votes against him more than I do."

As a senator, Obama struck up a friendship with Coburn despite differences with him on taxes and federal spending. 

"The point is I can chastise him for that and create a wall where I can't talk to him or I can say, ‘Can you explain to me what you're thinking on this?' I can still disagree with him and I disagree with him without hating him," Coburn said.

In Obama's 2012 State of the Union, the president said Coburn was correct to argue against federal subsidies for millionaires.

"And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions," Obama said in the speech.

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