Sen. Tom Coburn, expressed frustration with his fellow lawmakers this week, describing them as "a class of career elitists" and "cowards,” and adding, "It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor."
Coburn, R-Okla., reportedly made the comment at a Chamber of Commerce event in Oklahoma on Tuesday in which he blamed the nation's financial troubles on Congress-- a critique that deflects Republican attacks on President Obama.
But, he added, most U.S. lawmakers are good people with good intentions.
The remarks, reported by the Tulsa World, came just two weeks after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., made an emotionally charged return to Congress for the first time after being shot in the head in January during an assassination attempt.
Responding to a man who claimed the president is trying to destroy the country, the newspaper reported that Coburn offered a mixed review of Obama, saying the president is "very bright" and loves his country, but his political philosophy is "goofy and wrong."
The president's "intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him. As an African-American male" Obama received "tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs," Coburn reportedly said.
The comments are likely not meant to be malicious nor are they a surprise to those who know Coburn's style and demeanor. And they may not translate well in the East Coast. However, Coburn remains friends with the president, having served together in the Senate, and the two consult on the phone from time to time.
Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another southerner with a penchant for hard-scrabble rhetoric, also raised eyebrows Monday when he said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be committing a "treasonous" act by printing more money to jump start the economy.
"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," he told voters in Iowa.
Fox News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.