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Coburn Brushes Off Charlie Rose's Citation of Pseudo-Conservative Brooks

Charlie Rose, CBS News Anchor | MRC.orgCharlie Rose boosted New York Times's staff "conservative" David Brooks for his endorsement of the individual mandate on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but Senator Tom Coburn was having none of it. Rose quoted from Brooks, whom he labeled a "a Hamiltonian, and someone...you share views with." Coburn slapped down the pro-ObamaCare argument: "We just don't have the authority to tell people to do that" [audio clips available here ].

The Oklahoma Republican continued, in part, that "Brooks...[is] a Hamiltonian. I'm not. I'm a Madisonian, and that says, as government grows, freedom diminishes, and what we've seen is our freedom diminished." The anchor followed up by spotlighting ObamaCare benefits: "So, therefore, you don't...support the requirement for pre-existing conditions, nor the fact that children, up until the age of 26, will come under their parents' plan?"

Rose turned to Coburn for his take on the oral arguments on ObamaCare in front of the Supreme Court. The anchor hinted at the senator's conservative position when he asked, "I think I know how you stand on health care, but with respect to the issues before the Supreme Court, do you hope the Court says to the United States, this entire health care law is unconstitutional?"

The doctor turned politician first argued that "every claim about this bill is going to be disproven, both in terms of its savings, its delivery of care, and its affordability. It's highly unaffordable. We're now $2.6 trillion, over the first 10 years- of what it's actually going to cost in increased taxes and spending by the federal government."

Coburn added, in part, that "the federal government has gotten outside of the bounds of what we were ever intended to do, and one of the ways we did that was by expanding the Commerce Clause to have us involved in things that are really not our purview under the Constitution." The CBS on-air personality finished the interview by reading the excerpt from Brooks and asking his question about pre-existing conditions and coverage of people up to age 26 on their parent's health plans.

This isn't the first time that Rose had recourse to reading left-leaning points from the Times. On January 19, 2012, the CBS anchor trumpeted a headline from its front page, which played up how Mitt Romney "seems to be dancing around the idea of what his wealth is. This is the New York Times today: 'Romney riches are being seen as new hurdle; complex web of assets is difficult to assess.'"

The full transcript of Charlie Rose's interview of Senator Tom Coburn, which aired 14 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has been a fierce critic of the President's health care law. Senator, good morning.

SEN. TOM COBURN, (R), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Good morning, Charlie. How are you?

[CBS News Graphic: "Heart of Healthcare: High Court Hears Arguments On 'Individual Mandate'"]

ROSE: I'm good. Senator, I think I know how you stand on health care, but with respect to the issues before the Supreme Court, do you hope the Court says to the United States, this entire health care law is unconstitutional?

COBURN: I certainly do. I praise the Obama administration for wanting to address the issue. There's no question we have problems. Health care costs too much. But every claim about this bill is going to be disproven, both in terms of its savings, its delivery of care, and its affordability. It's highly unaffordable. We're now $2.6 trillion, over the first 10 years- of what it's actually going to cost in increased taxes and spending by the federal government.

[CBS News Graphic: "CBS News/The New York Times Poll: Healthcare Law: Disapprove, 47%; Approve, 36%; Supreme Court Should: Overturn entire law, 38%; Overturn mandate, keep rest, 36%; Keep the law, 26%; Margin of Error: +/- 3% Pts."]

So my hope would be- and for another reason, Charlie, is the Commerce Clause- and the expansion of it- is the reason we're running trillion-dollar deficits. We're- you and I have had this conversation before. We're in such a big financial hole, and if you go back to look at why we are- it's because the federal government has gotten outside of the bounds of what we were ever intended to do, and one of the ways we did that was by expanding the Commerce Clause to have us involved in things that are really not our purview under the Constitution.

[CBS News Graphic: "CBS News/The New York Times Poll: Healthcare Law: Requirement that Americans have health insurance: Disapprove, 51%; Approve, 45%; Margin of Error: +/- 3% Pts."]

ROSE: Well, David Brooks, in today's New York Times, who's a Hamiltonian, and someone who, I suspect, in many cases, you share views with, says, 'In my own view, the individual mandate is perfectly acceptable policy. We effectively have a national health care system. We all indirectly pay for ill, uninsured people who show up at emergency rooms. If all Americans are in the same interconnected health care system, I think it's reasonable for government to insist that all Americans participate in the insurance network that is the payment method for that system.'

COBURN: Well, we just don't have the authority to tell people to do that. That's fine for some columnist to write that. David Brooks- he's right. He's a Hamiltonian. I'm not. I'm a Madisonian, and that says, as government grows, freedom diminishes, and what we've seen is our freedom diminished.

Plus, it's not working. How well is Medicare working right now, Charlie? How well is Medicaid working? None of them are working well. They're totally bankrupt programs. We can't afford them. The care is declining. Even though you say you can have access, you don't really get access. Forty percent of the people who are now coming into Medicare are having trouble finding a physician that will take Medicare. It's not working, and the reason it doesn't work is we're not using market forces to allocate a resource, and creating a true safety net to help those people who need help-

ROSE: My understanding, then-

COBURN: So we're outside of our role as a federal government.

ROSE: So, therefore, you don't- do not support the requirement for pre-existing conditions, nor the fact that children, up until the age of 26, will come under their parents' plan?

[CBS News Graphic: "CBS News/The New York Times Poll: Healthcare Law: Approve: Require coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, 85%; Reduces Medicare donut hole for prescription drugs, 77%; Children under 26 stay on parents' plan, 68%; Margin of Error: +/- 4% Pts."]

COBURN: Well, I- Charlie, that's not it. The point is, is I support a true market where you can actually go in and buy something. The point being is, we're going to make everybody buy something, or we're going to say, if we don't do that, then some consequences of market failure we can't tolerate- so therefore, we'll no longer trust markets, and we'll have a system where the government sets the rules on everything. There is a choice in between there, and the choice is- and I don't have any problem with what you do on terms of insurance- but where is it the role for the federal government to set that? What's wrong with the states- what's wrong with us allowing insurance to be bought and sold across state lines? One of the- we don't have a real market in insurance. That's the reason everybody wants to try to fix it-

ROSE: Senator-

COBURN: Before we criticize the market base, we ought to go back and say, could we have a real market? And we've not done that.

ROSE: To be continued- Senator Coburn, thank you so much.

COBURN: All right, Charlie.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.