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Tom Coburn Apologizes For Calling Harry Reid Incompetent

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WASHINGTON -- The notoriously cranky Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) took to the Senate floor Monday night to apologize for calling Majority Leader Harry Reid "incompetent."

Coburn had declared on C-Span that the Democratic leader from Nevada was to blame for gridlock in the Senate.

"If you want to ask why the Senate isn't working, there's one reason; it's called Harry Reid," Coburn said last week. "Incompetent and incapable of carrying on the leadership in the Senate."

That got the attention of Reid, who said in an interview with HuffPost that he spoke to Coburn about it.

"I said, 'Uh, Dr. Coburn, you know I -- you have given me a lot of trouble, but I would never, ever say anything about you, even though I think what you do is absolutely wrong, what you've done to hurt the country. Why would you say anything like that?'" Reid said. "And he said, 'I'm gonna pray about it.'...So maybe he did, I haven't heard back from him, but I know what he said."

Reid heard back Monday evening.

“I don’t apologize for my frustration of this place, but occasionally my words are harsh and inaccurate, and this past week, I used words that were inappropriate in describing [Reid's] actions in the Senate, and for that, I offer a public apology," Coburn said. “I do not apologize for how I think the Senate is being run and the damage that I think is being done to the country, but as an individual, he has a very difficult time, and I understand that, and to him I ask his forgiveness.”

UPDATE: 4:00 p.m. -- Reid seemed willing to accept Coburn's apology for calling him incompetent, even though the Republican was still accusing him of destroying the country with his leadership style.

"Well, something's better than nothing, I guess," Reid said on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

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