The nation's "failed political process" has left voters with two flawed presidential candidates in Donald Trump, and unless a third-party candidate joins the race, retired Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn said Thursday he'll be casting his vote for the "lesser of two evils."
"How did we get [here] with just these two people?" the veteran Republican lawmaker told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
program. "I think America is greater than either of these. I think there's a lot of people on both sides of the aisle who could actually lead this country and do a much better job than the two nominees that we have. So we're going to have one of these two probably, and we better hope that their direction is more about the country and less about themselves and their parties."
And, said Coburn, "I'm certainly not a big [Donald] Trump supporter ... I think it says a lot about our country when this is what we get to choose from."
The nation's political process has left Americans with "no trust in the status quo," said Coburn, and politicians are not standing up to fight as the rule of law is being challenged.
"There's no leadership, to me, I don't see much leadership anywhere, from either party," Coburn said. "With that comes the loss of character, the loss of direction, the loss of inspiration. It's just not there."
There was some talk of Coburn mounting a run as an independent candidate, but he told the program Thursday that he is still not finished with the treatments for cancer, after retiring from office last year following his diagnosis.
"Number two, my number one goal is to finish my life with the wife I have and I probably wouldn't have been able to do that had I decided to go that direction," said Coburn.
He does, though, have hope that Trump can change his nature, but still wonders if the presumptive GOP nominee has the "self-discipline and make control over his ego to be able to say I'm wrong every now and then. I haven't seen that."
But also, Hillary Clinton is under investigation for not following the law and Coburn wonders how she is now the standard bearer for the Democratic Party.
However, he demurred when asked if Trump has the "character" to be the nation's president.
"Character is the ultimate thing that allows you to get other people to believe in you," said Coburn, "and not just the sycophants that are around you or the political elite but the average everyday American that wants to hope, wants to believe, wants to trust."
And while character is "what you're doing when people aren't watching," Coburn said, he does see some indication of Trump's character "in terms of taking shortcuts about generalizing about certain groups of people. That tells you one thing in terms of the way he thinks. He rationalizes it."
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