June 30th, 2008
11:20 AM ET
9 years ago

Lieberman says terrorist attack likely

Lieberman is a backer of McCain.

Lieberman is a backer of McCain.

(CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent who is a strong supporter of Republican John McCain's White House bid, suggested Sunday the United States will likely face a terrorist attack in 2009.

The controversial comments followed remarks by top John McCain adviser Charlie Black late last week that a terrorist attack leading up the the general election would probably help the Arizona senator's White House hopes.

Watch: McCain adviser apologizes for comments

"Our enemies will test the new president early," Lieberman told CBS Sunday. "Remember that the truck bombing of the World Trade Center happened in the first year of the Clinton administration. 9/11 happened in the first year of the Bush administration."

McCain and his supporters have long argued the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is better-suited to handle the country's foreign policy challenges than Barack Obama.

Watch: Lieberman touts McCain

"[McCain] knows the world," Lieberman said. "He's been tested. He's ready to protect the security of the American people."

But Lieberman, who served as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, distanced himself from Black's contention that a terrorist attack would boost McCain's chances of winning the Oval Office.

"Sometimes even the best of them say things that are not what they intended to say," Lieberman said. "Certainly the implications there I know were not what Charlie intended. And he apologized for it. Senator McCain said he didn't agree. And, of course, I feel the same way.

Lieberman, who calls himself an "independent Democrat," endorsed McCain in early December.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Willow, from Iowa

    I am almost more fearful of our soldiers in Iraq told to enter Iran and spread the war , before the election. They are into covert operations now, and there is an article on "Preparing the battlefield".

    Hopefully the Muslim nations will "wait and see", If Obama is elected, there is a real possibility of diplomacy and openness that we haven't had in 8 years or more.

    Typical of the Repubs to start the fear campaign.

    June 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. John in Ohio

    If our political landscape was Lord of the Rings, Lieberman would be Grimer Wormtongue.

    You'd have McCain as Saruman, once a decent politician but now twisted and insane. Reid could be the doddering and ineffective but ultimately heroic Theoden. Cheney is Sauron, of course, with Bush as the witch-king of Angmar, leader of the Nazgul. Gandalf would probably wind up being... Ted Kennedy, with Richard Durbin as Elrond. Cast Obama as Aragorn, Feingold as Gimli, Barney Frank as Legolas (obvious), and Kucinich as all the hobbits (waaay more obvious), and we're ready to make a summer blockbuster!

    June 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. What do YOU know

    What a dispicable comment. Even if it happens to be true, you shut your mouth about it. If something DOES happen now, I'm going to accuse Lieberman of being in on it. McCain becoming elected would surely give the terrorists more reason to attack, cause they know he is going to try to pull the same garbage worldwide as our current joke of a commander and chief. Have some decency and respect you pompous demagogue.

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Disgruntled Former Republican

    Terrorism: -noun
    1. the use of violence, fear and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

    Read the definition again then consider the GOP rhetoric of late...

    So very subtle of Senator Lieberman, using a hypothetical "inevitable" act of terroism to promote 4 more years of McSame.

    His statement is just a not-so clever rewording of Charlie Blacks irresponsible remarks.

    Although Lieberman, along with Charlie Black and the rest of the GOP, may have come to the grim conclusion that a terrorist attack is John McSames only hope for a November victory, using fear to promote their candidate is dispicable, but then, that's is what the GOP has become.

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. AdamW

    Lieberman is just encouraging more fear because that is the only way his kind can win an election and get support. He is no Democrat and does not speak for the people of CT. He has his own agenda and it has nothing to do with the hard working citizens of CT. He is an elitist and an arrogant fear monger.

    If there are any new terrorist attacks it's because these hawks staged them or allowed them to happen so they can push their corrupt policies and take away more freedoms and make more money.

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. pam Eugene OR

    Shame on you Joe. That is a horrible way to promote you candidate! It is also not true.
    Shame Shame Shame!

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. dew5050

    Jeff,

    I am an independent that will definitely vote for Obama! and I agree with you that Lieberman's statements are absurd and may I add, insane!

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Annie

    Why did Gore pick LIEberman as his veep? He is or should I say "was" the reason that Gore lost the election. Nothing that man has to say is of any interest to me. He is a traitor to the dems as far as I am concerned. SHUT UP LIEBERMAN!

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Go OBAMA

    HEY CNN! Lieberman is NOT a Democrat!! Change the misleading headline!

    June 30, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Wake up America

    Joe in VA, you might not agree with them, but Wesley Clark's comments were NOT fear mongering... There is no hypocrisy here!

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Ms D

    The GOP is in a catch 22 because while they hope it be a terrorist attack to boost Mccains chances, if it happens to be one it will make Mccain look weak. Mccain adopted the same failed policies as Bush and this would mean our country is less secured!!

    The GOP is so desparate to win and the war is the only thing they can use.

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Ryan

    I think Liberman brought up a good point. History often repeats itself and the 1st year of a new president is definitely a time to be wary of an attack. It's not fear mongering. They're discussing reality.

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Nik

    All Gore lovers should remember his lack of judgment in picking this guy as his running-mate.

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Cathy in MD

    Let’s hope Lieberman is wrong. To fire a warning shot, however, and incite speculation and unwarranted panic about another terrorist attack as a way to somehow legitimize McCain’s political agenda – at any cost – is horribly irresponsible, reckless, and dishonorable ... but not surprising. Can someone please tell me exactly in what ways John McCain “knows the world,” how “he’s been tested” and made “ready to protect the security of the American people?” As much as I honor him for his service to this country, being shot down and held prisoner of war does not count in this case. What specific experience does he have that qualifies him more than Barack Obama to be President of the United States? I just don’t see it.

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. ken

    I said and I repeat again, no country for old men!

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. Venus

    Here we go with the fear!

    So... since McCain was a POW for 5 years after being shot down – means he is no better for any attacks than Obama!

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    He is wright . Do you think it is just luck that attacks tend to happen in a new term. If Obama takes office I think we have more chances of being attacked.I don't want want to be called a fear monger so let me say this if Obama is elected i am going to stay out of city and away from planes.

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Express

    Hope and change will trample over fear this time. Enough is enough my friends

    June 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. JOYCE

    LIEBERMAN,MCSAIN,BUSH AND CHARLIE BLACK
    all wish for an attack
    well if it happen it want help mcsain to be president. he has no access to helping to return attack. it is a sick time in our country for politicians to want an attack just to put a war mongrel in office to be a leader to take us the rest of thew way to our grave.TO ALL 4 OF YOU GO TO CHURCH AND BEG,BEG FOR FOR GIVENESS.
    MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU

    cnn please post this as most my notes never make it

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Jeremy in Boston

    If we suffer another terrorist attack in 2009, then all that will demonstrate is that the Bush/McCain/Lieberman anti-terror policies of the last 8 years have been a complete and utter unmitigated FAILURE.

    Why would we continue putting our safety in your hands Sen. Lieberman? Why would we trust your judgement on how to defeat terrorism?

    You can't have it both ways. Either we haven't been attacked since 2001 because you're right, or we will be attacked because you've been wrong all along.

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. William, from Cali!

    Old Joe is probably right, or near 1/20/2009...........................................

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Michelle, Indiana

    Will McCain protect America the way he protected military information as a POW?

    From the article written by McCain in May 1973 for US News & World Report –

    I think it was on the fourth day that two guards came in, instead of one. One of them pulled back the blanket to show the other guard my injury........I said, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital."

    They took me up into one of the interrogation rooms, and for the next 12 hours we wrote and rewrote. The North Vietnamese interrogator, who was pretty stupid, wrote the final confession, and I signed it. It was in their language, and spoke about black crimes, and other generalities.

    This is the Military Code of Conduct
    The Code: Consisting of six articles in simple language, the United States Military Code of Conduct orders American military personnel to resist capture at all cost and if captured; to attempt to escape, to give the enemy no information other than name, rank, serial number and date of birth, to take charge if senior, to obey orders of the seniors, to accept no favors from the enemy and to make no written or oral statements disloyal to the United States.

    I don't know about any of you, but this kind of protection I can do without.

    McCain admonishes Obama for wanting to talk to the Iranian government, but he himself collaborated with the enemy with whom we were at war. Isn't what he did much worse than just talking to someone with whom we are trying to prevent going to war?

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Kensing James

    CNN,

    Please do the American people a favour by desisting from referring to Joe Liberman as a democrat, because we all know that he is not a member of the democratic party. HE IS AN "INDEPENDENT" WHO REALLY IS A REPUBLICAN. What comes out of his mouth is consistent with the language and tactics of his party – the republican party. He is well aware that without scaring the American people, his candidate – John McCain – has no chance of winning the November ballot. But you know what, the American people have become very familiar with that line in the republican playbook and come November that line will not work this time. And guess what, McCain will lose big!!

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. NC voter

    This is nothing new. The threat of terror exists everyday, even moreso since failed Bush policy in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned those two countries into terrorist incubators.
    Obama might have been aware of this if he'd attended any of the meetings of the committee on Afghanistan he chairs, but he's too busy on more pressing issues like setting up a PR committee for his wife.

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. cherrystrawberry

    Not this time....NOT THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!! Obama 08!

    BARACK THE VOTE!

    June 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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