Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn admitted it was inappropriate to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an “a–hole” but said the slam is a mere symptom of his deep-rooted frustration.
“My words weren’t appropriate, but my frustrations are real,” Coburn said during a “Fox and Friends” interview Wednesday.
Coburn made the comment in Manhattan at the The New York Young Republican Club’s annual gala Monday at the Yale Club as he addressed the the congressional showdown that led to a government shutdown in October.
“There’s no comity with Harry Reid. I think he’s an absolute a–hole,” Coburn told the group, reported the Daily News, when he was asked by an attendee about bipartisanship in the Beltway.
His informal remarks were said to have been well-received by the conservative circle.
Coburns “guard was down — it was very off-the-cuff,” someone familiar with the event said.
But the outburst became highly publicized given the post-shutdown political posturing.
He toned down his criticism on the cable morning show Wednesday but still blamed the Democratic leader.
“The Senate’s not doing what it’s supposed to do, and the leadership of the Senate has set it so that they can actually force consensus,” he told Fox’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck.