Sen. Tom Coburn on Thursday scolded MSNBC “Morning Joe” panelists for their conception of the tea party, saying they don’t “get it.”
“I was really amused by you all’s conversation,” Coburn said. “I don’t think you all get it.”
Before the Oklahoma Republican appeared on the show, the panelists were discussing how the tea party wants to radically reduce government and, some argued, to eliminate veteran’s benefits, education aid and other public programs.
“In their minds they’re independent, they don’t need government and they disassociate themselves from anything that says they are in fact dependent on government for a lot of things in their lives,” Gail Collins, whose New York Times column today tees off on tea-partier Ted Cruz, had said.
“I don’t know one tea party leader anywhere that wants to eliminate veteran’s benefits. I’m appalled,” Coburn said later.
Never shy about his support for his tea party movement, Coburn suggested that the journalists speak with tea party supporters.
“You’re missing something,” he said. “You’re seeing them for something totally different from what they are. You ought to come and visit with some people who are just regular joes, who believe the tea party has got it right.”
“The tea party is every person in America who really is fed up with Washington and recognizes the way we got there was abandoning the core principles of our country but also abandoning the Constitution,” he added. “I think it’s one of the best things to ever happen to the country.”
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