Senator Tom Coburn Apologizes For Calling Harry Reid 'Incompetent'

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staff
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn made a public apology last night for the controversial comments he made about House Majority Leader Harry Reid last week, when he called the Democratic Leader from Nevada “incompetent.”

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) listens to questions during the Reuters Washington Summit in the Reuters newsroom in Washington, November 9, 2011.

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn made a public apology last night for the controversial comments he made about House Majority Leader Harry Reid last week, when he called the Democratic Leader from Nevada “incompetent.”

The Republican from Oklahoma spoke with C-Span last week, where he was highly critical of Reid’s plan avoiding gridlock in the Senate, blaming the Democrat for what has transpired.

“If you want to ask why the Senate isn’t working, there’s one reason; it’s called Harry Reid,” Coburn said. “Incompetent and incapable of carrying on the leadership in the Senate.”

Reid responded in an exclusive sit-down with the Huffington Post, where he expressed disappointment in Coburn’s remarks, though he did reveal that he had reached out to him in an attempt at resolution.

“I said, ‘Uh, Dr. Coburn, you know I—you have given me a lot of trouble, but I would never, ever say anything about you, even though I think what you do is absolutely wrong, what you’ve done to hurt the country. Why would you say anything like that?’” Reid said. “And he said, ‘I’m gonna pray about it.’ ... So maybe he did, I haven’t heard back from him, but I know what he said.”

Reid then took to the Senate floor to publicly make amends for his poor choice of words, but not necessarily for the sentiments he expressed.

“I don’t apologize for my frustration of this place, but occasionally my words are harsh and inaccurate, and this past week, I used words that were inappropriate in describing [Reid’s] actions in the Senate, and for that, I offer a public apology,” Coburn said. “I do not apologize for how I think the Senate is being run and the damage that I think is being done to the country, but as an individual, he has a very difficult time, and I understand that, and to him I ask his forgiveness.”