Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn said the Republican presdiential candidate John McCain is "an old fart," but is singularly qualified to lead the country.
The remarks came Wednesday during a town hall Q-and-A session before a Kiwanis Club luncheon at Rose State College in Midwest City. Coburn gave a brief speech outlining issues he said the country faces, including the Iraq war and the economy, then opened the floor to questions.
"Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Sen. McCain?" a respondent asked.
"Yep, I can," Coburn said. "I call him an old fart. That's how good my relationship is with him."
Coburn said he disagreed with McCain on some issues, but that he strongly backs him as the next president.
"The reason I'm backing John McCain is I think we have two major problems in front of us as a nation," he said. "One is radical Islamic terrorism. And the other is an unsustainable financial course that unless we have strong leadership and somebody willing to take on Congress - I'm talking fight Congress tooth and nail - we aren't going to get out. He has the qualities that I believe are necessary to handle the major problems that are in front of us today."
Coburn also said he considered leading Democratic candidate Barack Obama a "friend," but does not back him for the office.
"Barack Obama is a good friend of mine. I think we're pretty close," he said. "But I don't think he has the training, the competence or the experience to be in that position. And I've told him that. I said, 'You need to wait eight years,' and he didn't do it." "Ben Fenwick