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Sen. Tom Coburn on Obama: ‘I just love him as a man’

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, is retiring from the Senate, and on his way out, is singing the praises of President Barack Obama.

Coburn, who announced earlier this year that he has prostate cancer and would be vacating his Senate seat two years early, was on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, where he not only had some very complementary things to say about the president, but also was very critical of his colleagues in Washington.

“I just love him as a man. I think he’s a neat man,” Coburn said of Obama in his farewell interview. “You don’t have to be the same to be friends. Matter of fact, the interesting friendships are the ones that are divergent.”

Coburn said his relationship with Obama is “based on the fact that I think he’s a genuinely very smart, nice guy.”

And if those statements bother his fellow Republicans, Coburn doesn’t care.

“I’m proud of our country that we elected Barack Obama,” he said. “I mean, it says something about us nationally. You know, it’s kind of like crowning your checker when you get to the end of your checker board. Here’s another thing that says America’s special: Barack Obama, president of the United States.”

One criticism he has of the president?

“(Obama) hasn’t done a great job of reaching out. It’s not his personality style,” Coburn said. “I mean, you know, he’s not well-suited to be a back slapper, sit down and let me tell you this dirty story before we get down to business. I mean, he’s not one of those kinds of guys. He’s a serious guy.”

Coburn also had some harsh words for Congress, saying most are in politics for their own personal gain.

“I see ‘em make decisions every day that benefit their career, rather than the country,” he said. “And that’s what’s so sickening about Washington. To me, it’s about our future. It’s not about the politicians. And we’ve switched things around where now it’s about the politicians and not the future of the country.”

And when asked if he’d really like to get rid of everyone in Congress, he replied, “I mean, if I was king tomorrow, that’s what I’d do.”