(CNN) – On the first day of the general election campaign, the very first Republican conference call attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama featured his party's 2000 vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Lieberman.
"Senator Obama argued today that American foreign policy in recent years has essentially sort of strengthened Iran," said Lieberman on a conference call for reporters hosted by John McCain's campaign Wednesday. "..If Israel is in danger today, it's not because of American foreign policy, which has been strongly supportive of Israel in every way. It's not because of what we’ve done in Iraq, it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state."
On the same call, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor of Ohio said Obama's speech did nothing to dispel doubts about his commitment to Israel.
Both men spoke shortly after Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington. The GOP has been hoping that concerns by some in the Jewish community about the Illinois senator's willingness to diplomatically engage Iranian leaders will allow them to make inroads with that crucial Democratic voting bloc.
Lieberman, who endorsed John McCain earlier this year, has been increasingly critical of Obama - particularly his goal to end the war in Iraq. The Democrat-turned-independent has been a strong supporter of President Bush's Middle East and Iraq policies.
Obama endorsed Lieberman in his 2006 Democratic primary battle against challenger Ned Lamont. But after the Connecticut senator lost and decided to run as an independent, Obama switched his support to Lamont, who shared his opposition to the Iraq war.