Coburn: I'm 'proud' that America elected Obama

While Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.) spent much of the last six years battling with President Obama and Democrats over fiscal issues, he said during an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that Obama’s election makes a strong statement about the country.

“I am proud of our country for electing Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNew Hampshire Rep. Kuster endorses Buttigieg Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Ray LaHood backs Biden for president MORE,” he said, according to a brief preview of an interview that will air Sunday on CBS. 

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“It says something about us.”

Coburn recounted meeting Obama when the two joined the Senate in 2004. He called Obama a “very smart, nice guy,” and said that they remained friends dispite their policy differences.

“You don’t have to be the same to be friends,” he said. “The interesting friendships are the ones that are divergent.”

The retiring senator received the nickname “Dr. No” for his devotion to blocking bills that he believed contained unnecessary spending. He didn’t back down from that moniker even during his last few days in office, when he blocked a bill to spend $22 million on helping prevent suicide among veterans and a bill that would have reauthorized a federal program to back the insurance industry in case of a terrorist attack.

Coburn decided to retire amid a battle with cancer. This is his fourth treatment for cancer. 

“You all have to die of something,” he said. “The deal is how to use each day to move things forward, for both you and the people you love and the country you love.”