August 12th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Lieberman suggests Obama has not always 'put country first'

 Lieberman campaigned with McCain Tuesday.

Lieberman campaigned with McCain Tuesday.

YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) - John McCain used one of his largest and most ambitious town halls to date to brandish a pair of surrogates, Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge, who may help him shore up support among independents in this fall battleground.

The Tuesday stop began with some campaign stunt work that turned the typically-mellow format into a lively Pennsylvania event that resembled one of the noisy rallies that characterized the Democratic primary.

The audience on hand - estimated by the campaign as north of 3,000 people - far exceeded the size of a standard McCain event. And the audience, who had been warmed up by a pair of television screens broadcasting a biographical film about the candidate, rose to their feet when McCain, Lieberman and Ridge arrived.

The trio entered the York Expo Center in the Straight Talk Express, which motored into the indoor venue under a massive American flag that was hoisted up to reveal the campaign bus, all while the theme from “Rocky” blared.

Lieberman then marshaled the audience by seeming to question Obama’s patriotism and commitment to bipartisanship in Washington.

"In my opinion, the choice could not be more clear, between one candidate John McCain who's had experience, been tested in war and tried in peace. Another candidate who has not,” Lieberman said to applause. “Between one candidate, John McCain who's always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.”

For his part, McCain plugged the moderate records Lieberman and Ridge, and praised their commitment to keeping the country safe.

Though he made a strong push to attract independents in his town hall performance, demanding that congress work together to solve the country’s energy crisis, the GOP nominee for the first time acknowledged he faces a deficit of support among younger voters.

Responding to a former Hillary Clinton supporter who asked what McCain will do for younger Americans, McCain said: “I'll give you straight talk. I need to do a better job with young voters in America.”

soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Sharon Kitchen

    Wel, I hope he feels better now.....................Good grief........

    August 12, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. cindy

    Jealousy is an ugly thing and so are you Joe

    August 12, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Jim Schimmer

    What I don't get it why do you have to throw dirt on someone's character and stoop to a new low to win?


    You republicans are so nasty. Why?

    Can't debate issues? Cause you know you won't win.

    August 12, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. James

    Ironic statement coming from a guy who plugs for a foreign country that can also serve as another homeland (Israel) yet he plants the seeds of doubt that a Black guy with a "foreign-sounding name" puts other countries before the United States.


    August 12, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Bryan, Michigan

    Now that's calling the kettle black. Lieberman go back and try again.

    August 12, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. RealityKing


    Clearly Lieberman, and the American people, know Obama's liberal voting record well. The most liberal voting record in the Senate, one that has generally put ideology first and foremost.

    Much like his going on vacation instead of calling for an energy vote in our time of crisis. Is this what we can expect from President Obama?? I think so..

    August 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. BHO: Ignorance is bliss

    jen August 12th, 2008 4:04 pm ET

    I sure hope McCain picks Lieberman to be his VP.

    Obama/Hagel vs Mr Magoo/Elmer Fudd

    Im not voting for Obama... but I would definatly get a bumper sticker that said Magoo/Elmer Fudd... thats a riot.

    August 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Clinton/McCain

    Looks like my home state will turn red in November. I was hoping it would stay blue if Hillary was the nominee, but with Obama our nominee one can only pray this state goes to McCain. Without this state Obama can not win the election.

    August 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Franky

    I see....and Senator McCain hasn't put his country first in the last 3 Presidential Elections(including this one)??

    Ohh yeah, Joe Lieberman is talking...

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Chris

    Healthcare, reduced Vet benefits, borrowing from China, Iraq WAR, Social Security, Housing crises – where is McCain putting Americans "first"??

    And being in the pockets of lobbyists is putting Americans "first" Mr. Lieberman?

    McCain offers more criticism than leadership – how's that putting Americans "first"?

    McCain was a POW 30 YEARS ago, has he done anything significant as of late?

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Tammie From Cleveland

    Lieberman hit it right on the head. People I talk to, still have the Rev.Wright stuck in their throat. Obama flips so mucj, how can he be trusted? He said he was against the war from the beginning, but he couldn't even vote one way or another. He has flip flopped on so many things, how do we really know how he would have voted??WE DON'T.
    This is a very scarry time for our country and we need someone with
    experience, and Obama has no substance. If Hillary is on as V.P. I
    will vote for Obama otherwise I will vote for McCain.

    August 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    John McCain who's always put the country first...................liar!

    August 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Ken in Dallas

    McCain puts corporate interests firsts, and supports tying our military power up in Iraq, where the actions we've taken were never necessary, an anti-conservative strategy that has left us helpless to respond when Russia does whatever it wants.

    We're not safer than we were before 9/11, because Iraq was and is irrelevant to US security. We're less safe, because our military's off haring after amateur trouble makers when Russian domination of southwest Asia is a true threat. Now he's all bluster over Russia, but what can we actually do about it?

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. beevee

    Funny, Leiberman of all people saying that Obama does'nt always put the country first as if he does. He always comes across that he puts Israel first.

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. NMB

    I'm surprised he didn't drop in from a fighter plane! More the-at-tricks from the candidate who insists is not the continuation of the Bush administration. I've watched this show for 8 years and I'm ready to switch channels!

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Sue

    Joe libermann is the most stupid Senator I've known! And is he American enough himself or is he Jewish?

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Rufus from NC

    Yeah. If you're not in favor of killing Arabs without asking any questions you're not putting America first.

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Mike, TX

    No kidding Joe. Obama has NEVER put the USA before Obama. His church is afro-centric. His friends are 1960's terrorists. He shows restraint to those actively seeking to distroy the United States. He caters to Europeans before Americans, going so far as to critize Americans to European audiences.

    I'll tell you, Ferraro was absolutely right. If Obama was some skinny guy from Chicago with a purely anglo name, Hillary would be the nominee right now.

    August 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Tony

    Michael Mukasey: No prosecutions in hiring scandal

    Not every ... violation of the law' is a crime, Attorney General says.

    I guess as long as you're a Republican, and having a Republican Attorney General,violating the law IS NOT A CRIME!

    August 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. ConsiderThis, FL

    There isn't a person on earth who has "put country first." SELF is at the top of everybody's list; especially career politicians who spend millions of their own money to try and get a job that pays $160K – $400K. Must be something else in it for SELF, and if country came first, we wouldn't have bridges falling down and schools nearly delapidated, and children hungry, and people without healthcare, and national debt in the stratosphere, and millions of foreclosures, and gas prices that nobody can pay, and no-bid contracts, and unqualified people in key government positions, and foreign ownership of our country, and a tax system that empties the pockets of regular working folks while rich people pay little to no taxes, and, and, and. COUNTRY FIRST? GIVE ME A BREAK!

    August 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Mike

    Lieberman should talk. The only reason this Democrat is in Lock Step with the Bush and McBush War Machine is because Lieberman uses the USA as a personal tool on behalf of Israel. While I also support Israel, Liebermans first loyalty should be the interests of America and it is not.

    August 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. sam beale

    did john mccain mean to say, "i'll give young voters the straight shaft."

    he is a candidate right out of the bush 'playbook' .... he's handing young voters a record $482 billion deficit, 2 wars costing billions more, an sinking economy that is losing jobs monthly ..... what more could you ask for?

    p.s. – tell the young voters to contact dick cheney's office; maybe he can get them jobs in hallibuton's 'no bid contracts' division.

    August 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Erica

    Lieberman and McCain are perfect together - two old, out of touch, lying turncoats.

    August 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Jane independents

    Joe Lieberman is a fool. John Mccain is too old .
    CNN why are guys keeping sayingthing about John edward afair but not John Mccain.
    Mccain did the same thing to his first wife.
    I will never vote for MCcain.

    Joe Lieberman your cup is full.
    I will vote for obama.
    OBAMA 08/12
    God Bless Obama.
    Nomatter what Mccain and Joe Lieberman say obama will win.
    You all are not God

    August 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Lieberman is a turncoat. He doesn't have the right to question anyone's patriotism or interests.
    Please, Mr. McCain, do select him as a running mate, the two of you are a perfect pair of jokers.

    August 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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