The Republican senator who has been blocking an extension of unemployment benefits surprised supporters and critics alike with a defense of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and criticism of Fox News at a recent town hall event.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told a crowd in Norman, Oklahoma, that Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat in the House, is a “nice lady” and the public should keep itself from “being biased by Fox News.”
Coburn also took the unusual step of correcting a mistaken belief about the Democrats’ recently passed health care overhaul.
When a member of the audience asserted that the government would have the power to jail people for not buying health insurance, Coburn said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The intention is not to put any one in jail. That makes for good TV news on Fox but that isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the intention.”
Coburn took another shot at Fox News later in the discussion, when he said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“What we have to have is make sure we have a debate in this country so that you can see whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on and make a determination yourself. So donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody is no good. The people in Washington are good. They just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know.”
But it was Coburn’s assertion that Pelosi is a “nice lady” that seemed to anger the crowd the most.
“I’m 180 degrees in opposition to the speaker,” Coburn said. “She’s a nice lady — wait, come on now,” he interjected as the audience groaned.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Come on now. She is nice Ã¢â‚¬â€œ how many of you all have met her? SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a nice person,” Coburn said. “Let me give you a little lesson here. I hope you will listen to me. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not a good person.”
Democrats are blaming Coburn for some 212,000 Americans temporarily losing their unemployment benefits this week after Coburn blocked a one-month extension of federal jobless aid ahead of the Senate’s spring break.
Coburn has earned the nickname “Dr. No” for his record of blocking Democratic initiatives on Capitol Hill.
Last month, Coburn proposed an amendment to the health care overhaul that would ban sex offenders from receiving Viagra through the insurance markets created by the plan. That amendment failed.
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.
Cincinnati sheriff deputies replace American flag at the Justice Center with ‘thin-blue-line’ flag
Cincinnati police were filmed replacing the American flag that hangs over the Justice Center in Ohio's third-largest city. They then replaced it with the thin-blue-line flag, that was created to advocate for law-enforcement during Black Lives Matter Protests.
During the Charlottesville, Virginia riots, right-wing and white supremacist activists carried the thin-blue-line flag along with the Confederate flag to speak out against Black Lives Matter.
While the flag may have been created in support of law enforcement, it has been adopted by white supremacists and taken on a darker meaning.
WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops
Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.
Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.
"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.