Coburn Rejects Rice's Praise
State Sen. Andrew Rice, the Oklahoma City Democrat who is running against Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, has been criticizing Inhofe this week for opposing the financial rescue plan put forward by the Bush administration.
In one statement, Rice said, ” “Two days ago I called a press conference on this crisis and recognized Senator (Tom) Coburn for saying, ‘Congress has known about these problems for years, but did nothing because [they] were so obsessed with short-term politics … to do the hard work of oversight and reform that was necessary to avert this mess.’”
“I couldn’t agree with Senator Coburn more, and I commend him for his leadership in working to find a bipartisan solution to this crisis.”
On Friday, Coburn, R-Muskogee, released a statement through an arm of the Oklahoma Republican Party, that was much less friendly toward Rice.
“Andrew Rice has neither the experience nor the ideas to address our nation’s financial crisis,” Coburn said in the statement. “Nor does he have any basis for associating his liberal agenda with my record of limiting the growth of government. His attempt to associate his agenda with mine in the context of a partisan attack against Jim Inhofe is personally offensive to me and an affront to Oklahoma voters.”
Coburn, in fact, took the same position on Inhofe _ and many lawmakers of both parties _ on the Bush administration’s original proposal: It wasn’t going to fly.
It remains to be seen whether either of the Oklahoma senators, or any of the Oklahoma House members, will vote for whatever bill emerges from intense negotiations going on right now.
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