“The tea party is every person in America who really is fed up with Washington and recognizes the way we got there was abandoning the core principles of our country but also abandoning the constitution,” he added. “I think it’s one of the best things to ever happen to the country.”

Coburn’s rebuke of the entire panel — Collins, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, The Huffington Posts’ Sam Stein, and MSNBC regulars Mike Barnicle and Donny Deutsch — aimed to paint the tea party movement as responsible, compassionate people.

“Most of them are really kind people. You know, when you look at a tea party rally and when they’re gone, it’s pristine. They picked it up. In other words, they’re responsible citizens and they’re also pretty bright,” said Coburn.