I'm joined today by Dr. Tom Coburn, a United States senator representing Oklahoma. Senator Coburn, welcome to the program.
Well, thank you, Mike. It's good to be with you and to talk with you again.
Senator Coburn, you served three terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1994 to 2000, and you were elected to the Senate just last year. What made you first decide to run for national office?
Mike, as a father of three and a grandfather of four, my concerns were that most of our elected representatives don't seem to think about the long-term and the problems that we have in front of us. And I thought, initially, that we need to have people who aren't career politicians get into the fray, because the careerism, I believe, has really hurt our country and has lessened our ability to be what we can be, and it has created several big problems for us, like Social Security, the insolvency, and the insolvency of Medicare. So I just felt like someone outside of politics ought to get in. And so I did it. Everybody told me I couldn't win, couldn't do it, couldn't accomplish it, and we were the first Republican elected in 75 years from that seat in Oklahoma.
Well, Tom, I really want to thank you for standing for principle, and thanks so much for what you're doing for the whole country.