Skip to comments.Dems urge Coburn to apologize
Posted on 09/10/2004 9:08:14 AM PDT by cashion
Oklahoma Democrats called on Republican Tom Coburn Thursday to apologize for remarks he made during a town hall meeting in Altus last month.
Democratic Party Chairman Jay Parmley said Coburn should be held accountable for saying economic development in Oklahoma was stymied by "a bunch of crapheads in Oklahoma City that have killed the vision of anybody wanting to invest in Oklahoma."
Coburn campaign spokesman Aaron Cooper said the Muskogee doctor and former congressman was referring to the state Legislature's attempts to address lawsuit abuse and worker compensation reform.
Coburn made the remarks at an Aug. 21 town hall meeting in Altus after a constituent asked Coburn what he would do to help bring development to southwestern Oklahoma.
Coburn and Democratic Rep. Brad Carson are campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat of Republican Sen. Don Nickles, who is retiring after 24 years in office.
Coburn's statement, as well as an anecdote of a conversation he had with House colleague Dick Armey where Coburn used an expletive to describe what kind of person it takes to be a senator, was tape-recorded by a Democratic supporter who attended Coburn's meeting, Parmley said.
"Basically Tom Coburn showed what kind of campaign he's going to run," Parmley said at a news conference Thursday. "These comments are divisive and somewhat bizarre."
Coburn was busy with campaign calls and meetings Thursday and was unable to comment on the issue, said Cooper, who called the Democrats' criticism nothing more than election season rhetoric.
"Every poll is showing that Brad Carson is losing the race. I guess it's not a surprise that the Democratic party is making an issue of a single word that Dr. Coburn used in a town meeting 19 days ago," Cooper said.
"Rest assured, Dr. Coburn will keep talking about the issues that matter to Oklahomans, and he'll do it in the honest and candid manner for which he's known for."
A poll commissioned by The Oklahoman in late August showed Coburn leading the race by a thin margin.
In the months leading up to the Nov. 2 election, Coburn hasn't been shy in criticizing his opponents or opposing viewpoints.
In debate earlier this month, Coburn characterized his race with Carson as a battle of good versus evil.
In a July interview with The Associated Press, Coburn said he favored the death penalty for "abortionist and other people who take life."
Parmley likened Coburn's glib manner to that of former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating.
"This is not silly," Parmley said. "We spent eight years with a Republican governor who talked bad about Oklahoma teachers and went around bad mouthing the state. We don't need this same behavior in the Senate. He needs to apologize."
Keating, known for his shoot-from-the-hip style, once remarked that "homicide," was the best way to deal with the state's teachers' union and called voters in Tulsa "very dumb," after his wife Cathy Keating finished second in the Republican primary for the First Congressional District.
MALE CONSTITUENT: So along those lines, when southwest Oklahoma comes to Tom Coburn in Washington, D.C. and says "Here's the science. Here's the plan. We want a new development in southwest Oklahoma, which will promote overall economic growth in agriculture, military, business, the whole deal." Is that going to be looked at as pork by you, or is ...that going to be looked at as...
COBURN: You're saying a federal program for southeast Oklahoma?
MALE CONSTITUENT: Southwest, yes.
COBURN: Southwest Oklahoma?
MALE CONSTITUENT: We don't care about the easterners. (Laughter.)
COBURN: You don't care about the northwest either? Look, economic development in southwest Oklahoma is a federal role. Do you really believe that?
MALE CONSTITUENT: To some extent, yes sir.
MALE CONSTITUENT: Uh, because the development that we need is above our means.
COBURN: No it's not. It's because you have a bunch of crapheads in Oklahoma City that have killed the vision of anybody wanting to invest in Oklahoma. Let's talk real frank here. You have a tort system in this state that only two other states have a worse system. The state Senate is controlled by the trial bar. There is no vision in this state that says we welcome with open hands, investment in our state and we're going to make it friendly, we're going to make it successful and were going to make an environment where you can be extremely competitive. We have a worker's comp system that says, "Please don't come to Oklahoma cause we're going to screw you." And then we have a tax system that nobody wants to stay here for. Half the people who retire in Oklahoma, leave Oklahoma because we tax their retirement and we tax their estate. Oklahoma, if we have a problem, it's because we have a problem in Oklahoma City with the vision that has run off major six major oil companies in this state and 400,000 jobs.
On what it takes to be a candidate for U.S. Senate:
COBURN: I'll tell you, you all know who Dick Armey was? Dick was a good friend of mine, and Dick did a couple of things that weren't very good, and I put it in my book. But I had meetings, you know, people that talked to him about running for Senate in Texas, and when he found out I was running we talked on the phone. He said, "'You know, my people told me that you had be an a--hole to be in the Senate.'" And he said "'I think you qualify.'" (Audience laughter.) And you know what, it's true. I'm just enough of a butt that I'm going to do what I say and I'll make them pay a price.
Crapheads, quite accurate.
Let's get to work drafting Tommie Franks for Governor.
Coburn should ask the rats to apologize for being part of an organized criminal enterprise!
Is it a 'bunch of crapheads' or 'gaggle of crapheads'?
SCREW THE DEMOCRATS !!!
Apologize for what? Apologize for Jay Parmley being such a doofus that he can't recognize a straight-shooter's comments for what they are? Oklahoma plans on sending up a senator to ring the bell of a vast number of pompous windbags. We want something done, and Coburn is the man to do it.
Apologize for what? He should stand tall and laugh it it off. Not apologize but admit he was rather blunt and leave it at that.
"WWaaaahhhhhh..............don't tell the truth around us....we'll melt!!!"
democrats always demand apologies when republicans tell the truth that hurts democrats.
I'd vote for this guy.
Crapheads is a better word then I would use to describe that worthless legislature we have under the leadership of the Cal Hobson in the Senate who is a bad joke. Bunch of worthless, do nothing Democrats beholding to Trial Lawyers if you ask me.
Carroll Fisher, the Democrat Insurance Commissioner, has been impeached by the House and now will go on trial in the Senate and he won't resign and it took our mealy mouthed Governor until just recently to say he should resign. The man is corrupt but he fits in well with the Democrats in this State.
The Dems seem to think they should be given Congressional Medals of Honor for whining.
Don't the dems realize that when they cry when hit hard they only look weak? Granted, the weak are their base, but you'd think they'd want to expand.
'Crapheads' was too mild an expletive; that's the only problem I see.
A "steaming pile" of crapheads.
Actually it's a 'sewer of s**theads'...
It's a pride of crapheads. Because they're lyin' crapheads.
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