Coburn Criticizes Ad Attacking T.W. Shannon
Just days after he criticized ads by outside groups attacking Congressman James Lankford (R-OK), retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has criticized a new ad by a different outside group attacking T.W. Shannon, Lankford's opponent in the June 24 Oklahoma U.S. Senate Republican primary.
The anti-Shannon ad was paid for by a recently formed group called the Foundation for Economic Prosperity, Inc., an Oklahoma non-profit that does not disclose its donors.
"When the U.S. Senate special election in Oklahoma began, I made a private commitment to James Lankford and T.W. Shannon that I would call out any ads I saw as untruthful," Coburn said in a statement.
"Last week I spoke out against political advertisements in Oklahoma unfairly and inaccurately attacking James Lankford. To be fair, I must also comment on the equally disappointing negative advertisements airing in the state by the Foundation for Economic Prosperity, Inc. attacking T.W. Shannon. They are wrong and should be rejected by Oklahomans," Coburn added.
"The negative on-air advertisements and untruthful mail pieces against both Lankford and Shannon should stop," Coburn said. "This race should be about the urgent threats to our future well-being, not the political goals of outside interest groups."
Recent polls show that Shannon, a former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and Lankford, a two-term Congressman, are running neck and neck. National Tea Party groups and high profile Tea Party aligned politicians like Sarah Palin, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), have endorsed Shannon, while more establishment politicians, like former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have endorsed Lankford.
Coburn surprised everyone when he announced his retirement in January due to personal health issues. The special election in November will be held to select a Senator to complete the remaining two years of the six year term to which Coburn was re-elected in 2010.
Coburn has remained neutral in the race between Shannon and Lankford.