Tom Coburn wasn’t having any of Chuck Todd’s bias. The former Republican Senator appeared on MSNBC, Thursday, to discuss Hillary Clinton’s speech on the so-called alt-right movement. After Todd repeatedly pushed Todd on Republican connections to extremism, Coburn called out the network’s liberal spin: “That's just like saying if somebody hires you, Chuck, and NBC's viewpoint, politically, is far left anyway, so, therefore, it’s bad because you work for [NBC].”
A flustered Todd sputtered, “Let me stop you there. Senator, wait a minute. That is not true. I don't know where you are coming up with an ideological attack on that.”
Coburn zinged, “Well, I actually watch CNBC, NBC, MSNBC, I watch. I see the viewpoints.”
A transcript of the exchange is below:
[On the topic of the Alt Right.]
CHUCK TODD: Joined now by one of the Republican Party’s elder statesmen. My apologies, for calling you elder at this point.
TOM COBURN: That’s okay. I’m old.
TODD: But your political career does span decades. I got to ask you this, I'm old enough to remember when you were not a mainstream conservative Republican and all this stuff. Let me ask you, what do you make the alt-right?
TODD: So you believe it’s total fringe? It’s total fringe?
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COBURN: It’s total fringe. And in the component of the Donald Trump movement, it is what's out there and you're always going to hear from them. And he may enliven some of their conversation, but he doesn't embrace it and nobody else that is mainstream Republican or conservative Republican or liberty-loving Republican or anything else embraces it.
TODD: That's what is sort of a — I guess, senator, that is what is head-scratching about this. You're right. No major Republican office holder, no one seems to embrace it. A lot of mainstream Republicans aren't embracing this. But Donald Trump did hire the head of Breitbart and Breitbart is a news organization that has been fueling this movement.
COBURN: That's just like saying if somebody hires you, Chuck, and NBC's viewpoint, politically, is far left anyway, so, therefore, it’s bad because you work for —
TODD: Let me stop you there — Senator, wait a minute. That's — that is not true. I don't know where you are coming up with an ideological attack on that.
COBURN: Well, I actually watch CNBC, NBC, MSNBC, I watch. I see the viewpoints. I'm not in politics any more. I'm sitting out as a citizen. I'm involved in the only thing that will actually solve the problems of our country. And it doesn't have anything to do with the presidential race.