Retiring Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who has a personal friendship with President Barack Obama, bashed the Democrat's immigration plans on Wednesday as something that could lead to civil disobedience — even violence — throughout the nation.
"The country's going to go nuts, because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president — and it's going to be a very serious situation," Coburn, 66, told USA Today.
"You're going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence."
Coburn, who is ending his third term two years early after a cancer recurrence, was first elected in 2004, the same year as Obama. The senators' spouses "hit it off at an orientation dinner," the president said in a tribute to Coburn in Time magazine
"Pretty soon, we did too," Obama continued. "Since then, we’ve bonded over family and faith. And we’ve harnessed our friendship and mutual respect to find places where we can agree and work together to move this country forward."
Coburn said of the president on Wednesday: "I really like the guy. I thought, 'he's neat' — and I think Michelle's a neat lady."
But the conservative Republican bitterly attacked Obama's planned announcement on Thursday of executive orders that could grant work permits and extend deportation deferrals to as many as 5 million illegals.
As such, President Obama is acting like "an autocratic leader that's going to disregard what the Constitution says and make law anyway," Coburn told USA Today.
Congress should approve immigration policy, not the president.
"Instead of having the rule of law-handling in our country today, now we're starting to have the rule of rulers — and that's the total antithesis of what this country was founded on," Coburn said. "Here's how people think: 'Well, if the law doesn't apply to the president ... then why should it apply to me?' "
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