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Coburn says he won't seek presidency

In a Wednesday appearance on a C-SPAN call-in show, Sen. Tom Coburn said he had thoughts of running because of the “weakness” of Republican candidates, but that he would not seek the presidency.
BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: December 15, 2011

Sen. Tom Coburn doesn't think much of the field of Republican presidential candidates and “had thoughts” of running himself. But, on a call-in show on Wednesday, he made clear that it wasn't going to happen and said he probably doesn't have the “skill set” necessary.

In a Wednesday morning appearance on C-SPAN, the Muskogee Republican listened to two Republicans and an independent express support for a Coburn candidacy for president.

A Republican from West Virginia said Coburn, unlike other politicians, speaks in a way that “the common man” understands.

Asked by host Peter Slen whether he had any thoughts of running for president, Coburn said, “I had thoughts of it, especially with what I think is the weakness of our potential nominees right now, but nothing serious and probably don't have the skill set that's necessary for that.”

Later, a caller identified as an independent from South Carolina, said, “You're the guy who I think is most qualified to lead this country, and I think you really ought to step up.”

Coburn responded, “I have great difficulty trying to do that.”

Coburn, who doesn't plan to seek a third term in the U.S. Senate, has been urged numerous times in the past to run for president. It's not a topic he likes to discuss, as was clear on Wednesday as he gave short answers, in contrast to the lengthy responses he gave to topics he does enjoy talking about — the nation's finances and government waste.

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