WASHINGTON — Saying that America's identity "is under attack from within,'' Sen. Tom Coburn announced today that he will run for reelection next year.
The Muskogee Republican said the decision to seek another six-year term was difficult for him and his family. But he said it came down to "a sober realization that our country's future is at stake."
"We can either do what we've been doing — borrow without limit and spend without restraint — and pass on crushing debt, a lower standard of living and less freedom to the next generation.
"Or, we can restore the common sense principles that made our country — limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility."
Coburn, who served six years in the House, easily won his first term in 2004, dispatching well-known Republican challengers in the primary and former Congressman Brad Carson in the general election.
No potential challengers have emerged as yet for Coburn, and it seems unlikely at this point that a top tier Democrat will take him on. Should he win, it would be his last term; he pledged when he ran in 2004 that he would serve no more than two terms.
A second Coburn term would mean six more years of headaches for many of his colleagues. Senators from both parties have chafed at Coburn's use of Senate rules to block dozens of bills that he considered wasteful or duplicative.
Coburn has garnered national attention for many of his efforts, including, most recently, attaching gun legislation to the bill tightening regulation of the credit card industry.
He has also become known for taking on pork barrel spending in a personal way — directly challenging the projects of colleagues and trying to remove them from spending bills.