Why Coburn Hates Newt

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 30 2010 4:47 PM

Why Coburn Hates Newt

It doesn't surprise me at all that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) would go out of his way to deride Newt Gingrich's presidential ambitions. Read Coburn's memoir Breach of Trust -- he detested how Gingrich ran the House when he, Coburn, was a congressman. I spent three minutes skimming through my copy and found plenty of horror stores about how, in Coburn's view, Gingrich betrayed the Revolution. On Gingrich smacking down Coburn and 10 other Republicans who opposed an increase in committee spending:

Gingrich's vitriolic response to us bringing down the rule for the bill confirmed to us that he was willing to trade our principles for a short term political advantage over the Democrats.

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Or Coburn on Gingrich's demand that the House pass an omnibus bill that members had not read.

This was vintage Newt Gingrich. He justified his refusal to confront Clinton on spending with a civics lecture.

Who has more pull, more ability to get on the air? I'd say Gingrich. But who could, if he wanted to, totally tar the other man's image with conservatives? I'd say Coburn.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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