Catalina Camia,USA TODAY
Sen. Tom Coburn and President Obama are friends, but that didn't stop the Oklahoma Republican from saying this week that the president is "getting perilously close" to deserving impeachment.
"Those are serious things, but we're in serious times," Coburn said Wednesday in Muskogee. "And I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' but I think you're getting perilously close."
Coburn didn't specify why be believes Obama is close to meriting impeachment, but he criticized what he called a "lawless" administration. The two men have been friends going back to 2005, when the Democratic president first arrived in Congress as an Illinois senator.
David Axelrod, the strategist behind Obama's White House victories, said on MSNBC that Coburn's comments are "way out of bounds, and he speaks to a kind of virus that's infected our politics that really has to be curbed."
There's been lots of talk from Republicans during Congress' summer recess about defunding the health care law known as "Obamacare," among the reasons why impeachment comes up. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law last year.
Coburn isn't the only Republican who's talked of impeachment with constituents.
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., said "it would be a dream come true" to draft and submit articles of impeachment against Obama but conceded that he's got no evidence to do so.