Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said Thursday that he was only joking when he suggested that he might shoot lawmakers over U.S. financial problems.
At a town hall event in Langley, Oklahoma Wednesday, Coburn pushed back on criticism of President Barack Obama and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, placing the blame for tough economic times on “a class of career elitists” and “cowards.”
“It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor,” he said, according to The Tulsa World.
Coburn’s remarks came less than a month after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who had suffered a gunshot wound to the head in January, briefly returned to Congress.
Conservative radio host Pat Campbell gave Coburn a chance to defend his remarks Thursday.
“You think that’s going to come back to haunt you?” Campbell asked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Coburn said. “I don’t care. The problems are so big. What I was trying to do was be funny. They know that.”
“They’ll make anything they want out of anything I say and I, quite frankly, don’t care. The problems that are in front of us are big enough that we ought to be going after them. And the fact that we don’t go after them, the fact that you got a non-solution to the problem coming out of Washington — you know, how many of your listeners actually think something’s going to happen that actually is going to cut the debt limit — cut our expenses?”
Listen to this audio from The Pete Campbell Show, broadcast Aug. 18, 2011.