President Barack Obama issued the following statement Friday on Sen. Tom Coburn’s announcement that he would resign at the end of the congressional session.
Obama and Coburn were both elected to the Senate in 2004 and became fast friends. That friendship has endured throughout many serious policy disagreements.
“Those of us who have had the privilege of serving with Tom Coburn will be sad to lose him as a colleague here in Washington. Tom and I entered the Senate at the same time, becoming friends after our wives struck up a conversation at an orientation dinner. And even though we haven’t always agreed politically, we’ve found ways to work together – to make government more transparent, cut down on earmarks, and fight to reduce wasteful spending and make our tax system fairer. The people of Oklahoma have been well-served by this “country doctor from Muskogee” over the past nine years, and I’m confident that Tom’s strength and optimism will carry him through the battles to come. Michelle and I will always be grateful to Tom and Carolyn for their friendship, and we wish them all the best in all the years ahead.”