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Sen. Coburn on Debt Outlook: ‘I Would Downgrade Us in a Minute’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If Sen. Tom Coburn was working for one of the credit-rating agencies, his take on the U.S. debt outlook is clear.

"I would downgrade us in a minute," Coburn, R-Okla., told ABC News in an interview featured on Top Line Friday. "Yeah, I would -- knowing what I know."

He also said rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's were too generous to the U.S. economy during the last fiscal crisis.

"I would tell you there's a basis on which a lawsuit could be filed against S&P, based on what S&P's evaluations were during the last financial crisis, and hold them accountable in terms of what the real numbers look like for our country."

Coburn also said he's not ready to give up on bipartisan budget talks developing into a consensus, though he walked away from the "Gang of Six" negotiations this week.

He suggested that he may support an agreement that includes new revenues: "The fact is we're at the lowest tax rate this country's been in a hundred years," Coburn said.

And Coburn took a swipe at American for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist, who has blasted Coburn for raising the possibility of supporting higher taxes.

"People like him -- who are a lobbyist -- have to use hyperbole to justify their positions. Right? I don't care what he says -- he's like a fly on the wall," Coburn said. "If you’re scared of Grover Norquist you have no business being up here."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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