September 3rd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Dems could pull Lieberman chairmanship

Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night.

Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman’s speech before the Republican National Convention Tuesday night could cost Lieberman the chairmanship of a key Senate committee, a top Senate Democratic aide told CNN.

During the speech, the Connecticut senator praised GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and criticizing Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

"The Democratic Caucus will reassess the situation with Sen. Lieberman after the election,” Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Wednesday.

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, now calls himself an “independent Democrat,” but he remains a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus which allows him to head the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Democrats have grumbled for months about Lieberman’s outspoken support of McCain and both Reid and Obama have warned Lieberman to curb his public criticism of Obama.

“What we saw last night was a culmination of provocative efforts in recent months,” said a Democratic leadership aide.

Democrats, who with Lieberman’s support control the chamber by a narrow 51-49 margin, are unlikely to go a step further and boot Lieberman from their caucus although the Democratic leadership aide didn’t rule out that punitive step if Democrats pick up several seats in November.

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Jill Claybourne

    Lieberman is one intelligent American Jewish senator. The American Jewish people should listen to Lieberman; he knows what is going on in our government and in foreign policy; he states for Israel as we all (but don't) should. He does what he believes is right; he does not do what is expected of him by politicians. Hurray for the honest man.
    We should all be proud of this man who stood up for what he believed. We need more individuals like him, esp. in government.

    September 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Seems to me that when he became an Independent he should have lost that seat anyway. Maybe he can be head of the Independent Caucus.

    September 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Johnboy

    Vote based on substance, not on party loyalty. That's what he was saying. What's wrong with that?

    September 3, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. TheAmericanRepublican

    No, the Democrats are not partisan. It's not about Blue America, it's not about Red America, it's the United States of don't let your blue arse speak in the red convention or else we will kick you out of Blue America.

    Democrats say one thing, and believe something totally opposite. There's nothing more partisan and vile than them

    September 3, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Howie

    Joe has always been know to speak the truth, apparently the truth hurts

    September 3, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Tatjana

    Once elected , a politician ceases to have the freedom of speech and expression unless it follows party rules.
    I have new found respect for Lieberman who follows his beliefs and conscience regardless of political backlash by his Party.
    Nothing to gain for him in this one and that is truly refreshing.
    A few more politicians like him and Washington and congress would actually have to get some work done , for the people and not just stand in line with their Party.

    September 3, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Steve Oberman

    Wow.. someone dare not grovel at Obamas temple??

    September 3, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. RGG

    Lieberman never had an allegiance to the Democrats. His only political master is the Israeli Government. He obeys whatever it orders him to do; even going to war.

    September 3, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Bukky

    Pull? they should yank it and the beat him senseless with it...

    September 3, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. c love for obama

    Joe lied. He is an independent, not a democrat. He needs to lose his chairmanship. He is not owrthy to hold the post.

    September 3, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Willie Wonka

    Dam. What a bunch of partisan comments. You all miss the real problem as you trade jabs back and forth. Take off your stupid Political Party Hats. Then try something you have not done in a while. Try "THINKING" for yourself

    September 3, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Tess

    I have seen so many pumper tickers in my home town "NOBAMA 08"
    Love it!

    September 3, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. CG

    I wish Harry Reid would cowboy-up and oust him now. He's a self-centered liar and turncoat. If He would have campaigned as eagerly for Gore in 2000, Gore would have been in the White House and things would be a lot different-and better today.

    September 3, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Ahmed, Dearborn, MI

    Good riddance – we don't need anymore Jews in the Democratic party! Let them go to the Repubs where they belong!

    September 3, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |

    Joe Lieberman is not well liked since he took up with the Republican
    John McCain. I thought maybe he "jumped ship" so he could go with
    McCain and Lindsey Graham on the trip around the world that included
    a fundraiser in Paris for Mr.McCain. All that on the taxpayers money.
    Oh, they threw in Iraq, after hearing much static from taxpayers.

    On Earmarks, and taxpayer money, what about the useless trip
    John McCain had taxpayer money pay for it. On Earmarks, PALIN
    said something like, the government is going to pay for this road
    (to nowhere). We have to take it while it is offered. ALASKA'S

    September 3, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Respect is best to unify

    That is why nothing gets done in DC.

    Bipartisanship gets a kick in the butt.

    This is the way of the uniter for change- Obama. Obama voted present- just so as to never be on the receiving end of this kind of retaliation and vitriol. Another words, Obama got rewarded by playing safe and NEVER risking his career by taking a stand.

    Seems like the same old threats to politicians that keeps them from taking bold steps and controversial positions.

    If the DEMS do this... they will be the UNCHANGE party.

    September 3, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Gregory smith

    The courageous democrat leadership is not yet ready to remove Mr. Lieberman from his position. They are going to wait to see if they need his vote or have enough of a majority in the Senate. That's the way Democrats always govern. With an approval rating of 16%, we need a bigger democratic majority so their approval rating can reach a single digit.

    September 3, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. karen-phoenix

    THE only reason Liberman switched to Independent was because he LOST as a Democrat in his state!!! Shameful MAN! Fits right in with the Republicans and their deceitful image!!!

    September 3, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. Brian

    In 2006 Leiberman called Obama a shining star in the senate and a blessing to America. He even begged him to come campaign for him.

    I guess this little stunt of his is a vendetta for Obama seeing him for the snake he is and not returning his phone calls.

    The truth will win this year. America's situation is too grave for another 4 years of GOP nonsense.

    Obama/Biden '08!!!

    September 3, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Jeff

    I find it very interesting that both campains find it necessary to begin flinging mud. This election will come down to the facts of where each canidate stands on policy. Obama is a well spoken man, but in a debate with McCain on actual policy, that is where the fantasy of change and idealism comes to a screeching halt. Requiring small businesses to provide healthcare? Small businesses employ millions of people in this country. Since business owners aren't going to take a paycut, what do you think is going to happen to jobs that might have been created? I think we all know. Repealing tax cuts? No president in the modern era has been able to raise taxes in a recession. That is besides the fact that history has shown that lower taxes means more money in Washington. What is Obama's plan for Iraq? Commander in Chief? He has about as much foreign policy experience as the local butcher. Be it me to actually want to hear some details from Obama... Instead all we have hear is "trust me" things are going to change. Duh... It is the manner in which things are going to change that people should be most concerned about. And by the way. Bush's approval rating stands at 31%, but the democratically controlled congress has an approval rating of 17%.

    A note to all liberals out there. There is no such thing as trickle up economics. Capitalism is what has made this country what it is today. The "poor" in this country don't know poor by world standards. As for a "windfall" tax on the oil companies. Great idea. The margins they have now are exactly the same as they were 8 years ago. If anyone wants to complain about their profits then go right ahead. They will only pay $40billion in taxes in 2008. That is more than the bottom 50% of taxpayers here in the U.S. or 67 million Americans. Please don't trample on the idea of capitalism because the world demand for oil has gone up and by some stretch this isn't "fair" and that Exxon should be punished. It is a shame how we all think that the U.S. government owes us something. Get over yourself!

    And don't get me started on Obama's comment on how Americans should be learning Spanish. Funny that the other 20 most prevalent languages are not complaining that the schools aren't teaching their kids English. Talk about fair and just. Why am I helping pay the bill for $12B worth of educational and medical benefits here in the state of Texas to ILLEGALS!!!!? YES ILLEGAL... Just like illicit drugs.

    Facts: Bottom 50% of income earners pay 4% of taxes
    Top 25% pay 83%; Top 10% pay 65%; top 1% pay 35%. Can we somehow make it more fair? If we want to try socialism then we are headed that way. Look at history and see how that has worked out.

    September 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    The new democrats demonstrate change, hope and unity- by threats, vindictiveness and retaliation to people who do not toe the good ole washington insider line.

    Obama is the worst of the same old thing- just pretty new package to hide the corruption that lies beneath.

    September 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Dmitriy

    Cause if McCain wins dems will need to kiss up to Lib.

    September 3, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Erika, KS

    Cry Baby Democrats!
    I'd like to PULL all of this do-nothing Democrat controlled Congress, including Obama! I'm no Liberman fan, but he can say whatever the hell he wants. Too bad so sad. Maybe Dean, Pelosi, Reid and others should have thought about the consequences of their actions of shoving Obama down our throats for the past ten months. LOL.

    September 3, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. tarrie

    could? No. They should.

    September 3, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Cindy

    Lieberman is a man without a party. He supports John McCain because he is his friend, not because he's a Republican.

    However with that said, yes, he should be stripped of his chairmanship. He knows he should be too. For him it was a necessary sacrifice to support his friend. While I disagree with his choice of his McCain over Obama, I respect it as his own choice to buck the party line. You are fired, Senator Lieberman... respectfully fired. Good bye... have a good life.

    September 3, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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