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Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn's comments on impeachment draw fire

Former adviser to President Barack Obama says Sen. Tom Coburn's remarks at a town hall meeting in Muskogee this week were “plainly absurd.”
by Chris Casteel Published: August 24, 2013
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/articleid/3875471/1/pictures/2190632">Photo - U.S. Senator Tom Coburn speaks during his town hall meeting at Metro Tech Springlake Campus on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn speaks during his town hall meeting at Metro Tech Springlake Campus on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Most of those asking questions clearly objected to the president's policies and actions.

Coburn's comments about impeachment came after a questioner asked who was responsible for holding the president accountable to his “constitutional requirements and responsibilities.”

“What you have to do is establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president — and that's called impeachment,” Coburn said. “But that's not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means.”

Coburn said he believes the administration has intentionally violated the law, but that it is also guilty of incompetence.

Axelrod said Republicans were playing to a shrinking base of aged, southern evangelicals and trying to disqualify the president rather than debate him.

He noted that Coburn had referred to Obama as a personal friend and said, “Can you imagine how he treats people who aren't his friends?”

Coburn was not available for comment on Friday.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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